I got tired of looking at my lady’s copies of Us Weekly in the bathroom (you don’t really read Us Weekly so much as gape at it) so I put Reading the OED by Ammon Shea in there. It’s simultaneously enjoyable and infuriating. Enjoyable because I enjoy the minutiae of vocabulary and infuriating because I didn’t think of writing it first.
Each chapter is a letter in the alphabet, with 4-5 pages of reflections on the experience of reading such a massive work, and then a list of words found in the OED, accompanied by clever asides from Shea. It’s very similar to The Know-It-All, which I enjoyed for the same reasons. I need to find a similar reference book or books to dissect in such a manner and then watch the bucks roll in.
Anyway, I’m only on chapter one…er, “A” but it’s already enhanced my life with this word:
airling (n.) a person who is both young and thoughtless
I’ve been thinking that the ubiquity of “douchebag,” and all its variants, has reduced its effectiveness. So from now on, I’m going to use airling where I might otherwise use douche or douchebag, and airlingery where douchebaggery or douchery would have previously sufficed.
Let’s face it, douchebaggery is a young person’s game. Old douchebags are best referred to as jackasses because at that point in your life, you’re aware of your douchery and to continue to act like a douche despite that knowledge makes you a jackass.