Friday, June 13, 2008

Verbalizing the Verb

Wherein a yawning women ruins my day (and other language infractions)

I’m chatting with a co-worker the other day as I’ll reluctantly do from time to time. She’s droning on about something or another…blah blah blah son in college blah blah blah new TPS report...etc. I was busy calculating in my head planned paces for Sunday’s 10 miler so I really didn’t have any idea what she was saying. She stops, stretches her arms over her head, opens her mouth and yawns. Nothing unusual there except – as she does this – she says with mouth still agape “YAWWWNNN”.


Uh, what’s that all about? You were yawning so….you said Yawn?

Now I’m looking at her all crooked headed like a dog watching a butterfly. She continued on with her story but now, instead of calculating paces, I’m trying to determine what just happened. Then, she did it again. Arms up. Mouth open.


What in the hell is going on? Did I miss a memo somewhere? Are we supposed to verbalize our actions now? It’s not enough to simply do them but we actually have to say what we are doing? A verb is typically something that happens right? We can see it, hear it, smell it, taste it, etc. Its often unnecessary to actually put a word accompaniment to it.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against verbs. They’re some of my favorite things. Eat. Sleep. Run. Read. Listen. And, ahem, other stuff (winking at you Mrs. Nitmos). Just try to create a sentence without one. Not easy. :)

Once Sleepy McYawnslot finished her Tales of the Bland and Uninteresting, I wandered down to the break room for a pick me up coffee consumed with this idea of verbalizing our patently obvious actions. I met another co-worker – a fellow runner – so obviously we had to stop and compare notes. He mentioned his crazy ass 20 milers in this sweltering heat and, I thought, maybe I’d just try out this new concept Sleepy just inflicted upon me.


“Um, what?” He said. “What did you say?”

“I said ‘Guffawing’. In fact, big guffawing. I can’t believe you are hitting those miles in this heat.”

I could tell by the confused look he hadn’t been initiated into this new VV* movement. I wasn’t going to explain it. Let him wear it around like a saddle for the next few hours like I would be doing. And screw him for cranking out 20 miles in this humidity.

This is really obnoxious. Imagine the problems this could cause.

On my way back from the break room, I spotted my boss and tacked away from his path. The only word that came to mind was Loathe. I thought it best not to tempt it.

For the rest of the day, I mulled over this idea of verbalizing our verbs. It burrowed into my skull and nested like an intestinal parasite. It ruined my evening run. Turn up the mp3 as I might, I could not keep the verbs from running through my head and out my mouth.

Run. Run. Run. Run. Run. Breathe. Run. Run. Run. Snot Rocket. Apologize. Clean (stranger’s leg). Run. Run. Run.

Enough. A decision was made. I’m going to go ahead and state I’m anti-VV. I don’t care if that makes me a verb bigot. Judge me all you want.

Type Type Type



* Verbalized Verb

Happy Father's Day this weekend! This is always a special time around the Nitmos home. It's my chance for me to tell my kids exactly what I think of them based directly on the quality of the gift I receive. I look forward to this all year. The over/under on my use of the word "ungrateful" currently sits at 4.

Five hard miles in the humidity last night. Again, I missed the Limbo for the 3rd straight time!

5.0 miles
33:58 time
6:48 pace

Miles of 6:54, 6:54 (hundredths of a second under the first mile according to Garmin!), 6:41, 6:51 (missed!), 6:39.


Sarah said...

I do the opposite. If something is funny, sometimes I'll say "That was funny" instead of laughing.

Speaking of which: this post was funny.

Topher said...

SOrt of along the same lines, I had a co-worker who when he would sneeze would say "Bless [inserted his own name]". Huh? Aren't we supposed to say "bless you"? You don't bless yourself.

nwgdc said...

you need to write a book. this is too good.
by the way...i thought you never saw your boss...remember the Office Productivity Day?

Kristina said...

I'm all for onomatopoeia (yes, I had to look up the spelling) in prose but not in conversation, but if you're gonna cross the line into the VV, I'd stick with the present simple tense (guffaw) and not use a gerund (guffawing). That's just wack.

Nitmos said...

Good point, Nic. I took a liberty here. I don't ever see my ACTUAL boss. He's a full state away. But I do have a sorta floor leader who can be a bit of a jackhole. So, for purposes here, I used the term "boss" rather than explainig this which I'm doing now in the comments. You get an A+ for FMS knowledge though.

Kaeti said...

Commenting. Also, procrastinating.

Xenia said...

I wonder which verb that woman uses when she's on the toilet. Ask some of your female coworkers. I'm sure they'll know.

*aron* said...

laughing... out loud at my cubicle.

you were so close on the limbo!!!

have a wonder fathers day :)

Viper said...

No more verbs! Happy Father's Day!

Vanilla said...

You should have responded by saying "Rolling Eyes," or maybe "Feigning Interest."

Speaking of Feigning Interest have you seen somewhat inappropriate video?

Marcy said...

That "other stuff" Mrs Nitmos wants is called YOU CLEANING THE HOUSE! Much better than sex :P

Chad Aaron Sayban said...

At least you don't work with either of her sisters - VPP (Verbalized Present Participle) and VMM (Verbalized Mixed Metaphor). Those two are a real drag.

...loved the post.

P.O.M. said...

Laughing. Ha ha. Laughing. Did you gossip with your other coworkers about it? Because I know I would!
Happy fathers day.

RazZDoodle said...

dare I ask if she does this in the bathroom, too?

From the sound of things, I'd up the over/under. They've probably spent too much time with the puppy to get you anything.

Anonymous said...

Did you ever consider no using verbs at all around the office or on this blog?

Or should I say:
Did you ever _________ not ____ verbs at all around the office or on this blog?

SJ Goody said...

In the same sense, my friends and I started a trend to avoid those annoying little "emoticons" so rather than doing :( or ;), we simply say "sad face" or "wink". It was fine in a text or email but it has now moved into real life, face to face. So when someone is pouting, they said "sad face". Quite possibly the most annoying, yet addicting habit ever.

AddictedToEndorphins said...

I like the idea of verbalizing verbs. Interesting. But not all the time.

Great run...You're reallyyy fast.
What is limbo?:S

Viv said...

Hope you are having a fantastic Father's Day!

MizFit said...

where is the Mrs' long tribute and ode to you for today?!



Eric Gervase said...

thinking... posting... Not good. This is insane.

Triseverance said...

Shit, that was funny........

aham23 said...

how boring does a story have to be for the storyteller to yawn during said story/converstation. i hate work place blah blah blah blah. later.