The temperature this morning was cool-your-coffee-quick degrees when I stepped outside to have those first precious sips. “First precious sips.” I feel that same routine first-ness when I finish reading in bed at night. I set my book down, get up, pull the bottom sheet up and over the top of the mattress — I absolutely hate sleeping on wrinkled sheets (“Ok, Mr. Princess And The Pea”) — and then crawl under the covers. I lie on my back — though I almost never sleep that way, or at least don’t sleep well that way — and let out a sigh. Really, it’s a sigh. Sigh. Such a beautiful word. Almost onomatopoeic. I notice that onomatopoeic has not only a lot of vowels, but it also has all the vowels except a “u.” (It also doesn’t have a “y,” but Y’s are like thumbs. They’re vowels but not vowels.) So I decided to do a little research — that decision was a moment ago; I’m a long way off from sighing in bed, and my coffee is fucking cold by now — and Googled “words with all of the vowels.” Here’s what I got:
“The Guinness Book of World Records” is now simply “Guinness World Records” online. It changed names in 1999. Heading toward Y2K, while most people feared the sudden collapse of technology, Guinness leaned in. Books became dinosaurs. Except that Caitlyn Jenner, nee Bruce Jenner, will write an actual book, it will be sold at Barnes & Noble, and people will come and have their physical copy signed and perhaps shake Caitlyn’s hand, which will crush the reader’s from having thrown so many shotputs and hurled so many discuses. It will be ok. Because if violence is threatened, Caitlyn can hide in either bathroom. Sorry: low blow. As it were.
But I do want to go back now to those words.
Eunoia. This is a beautiful word. First of all, it actually is beautiful. It comprises the Greek “eu” (beautiful) + “noia” (thought) and can refer to the goodwill between a speaker and her/his audience. (Again, Caitlyn has a distinct advantage here. OK; last time. Promise.) You pronounce it “yoo-NOY-uh.”
The only other real word in this list that we all use is sequoia. The rest of those words above are for professors who live celibate lives, and not by choice.
For example, if you Google “adoulie meaning,” you will get a list of sites that let you know what andouille sausage is. Seriously. If, at the end of this post you are not disgusted, click there and see for yourself.
“Miaoued” means meow’ed, like what a cat does. I am totally serious. Look it up. Its synonym apparently is “miaow.” We all know that both of those spellings for meow — which has fewer letters and is, after all, the choice of writers on a budget — have been created by professors at Ivy League schools to justify their Endowed Chair Of Stick-Up-The-Butt. And while “meow” is a cat sound and onomatopoeic, “miaou” is the sound of a professor teaching a class on cat sounds.
Moineau is French. Look it up. It doesn’t count. Why Google includes it shows that Silicon Valley is going socialist. Why Guinness includes it explains why it no longer has a spine.
Suoidea. This will require my naked contempt. DON’T GOOGLE THIS YET. It is a word from vertebrate zoology — danger already — and means “A superfamily of artiodactyls of the suborder of Paleodonta which includes”…wait for it…
And since Suoidea is a type of “superfamily” — “Look at me! I’m a pig, and I live in a superfamily! Whoopee!” — there’s no singular identity within the word. I can’t say I’m a “suoid.” I can say I am suoidean — piglike. I can even say I am from the land of Suoideania — a farm. I can say I like to eat Suoideanese food: trough scraps. Or that my art is suoideanesque.
Sometimes, beautiful words have ugly meanings. Other times, while rare, ugly words have beautiful meanings.