OpEd: Word Salad

It was a new world at my family Rosh Hashanah dinner. The kids around the table all knew their pro-nouns. To my astonishment, in these conservative parts of private schools the teens in my family understood ‘gay’ and ‘transgender’ and ‘disability’ and all had a seat at the table. It was a world away from the talks I had with their Grandma years ago as I struggled from inside the closet.

At eleven and fourteen and sixteen all were adapt in the new language. But when I asked what year in school are you ? One answered a ‘freshman’. She/her is a freshman. Sounded off. That is not appropriate. Instead of entering your freshmen year you now enter as a ‘freshperson’. That makes sense. They laughed.

Is they there? One adult in the room asked. My father was an english teacher and would smack me outside my head if I spoke that way-

There is a sailor, a seaman, – do you know what we call a female sailor? — a wave. Learn something every day.

Certainly the word ‘semen’ is no longer appropriate. ‘Perhaps Sefem should be a new word. I invented it. Somebody wikipedia that.

We kept thinking, a tradesman, well thats a tradeswoman. A strongman, or a strongwoman, a gentleman, or a gentlewoman. A fisherman that is a female is just a fisher. So a person who goes fishing is a fisher, and a male is a fisherman.

A craftsman is not craftswoman. A Master Artisan is the female version of a Craftsperson. Please do not call the postal service person a mailman. They are a letter carrier.

Halloween is just around the corner. So let’s end with bogeyman. A bogeyman is mythical creature that is used to scare children. There does not seem to be any fair gender equity in this situation. There is no bogeylady. Like a hitman, and you’re not allowed to hit a lady.

I don’t think all this a good omen. I mean othey.

So happy Jewish holidays everybody. Make sure you say your prayers to the god above.

Amen. ..oops. Even the good lord can’t keep up.

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About Larry Block
Larry Block is a contributor and shareholder in Boystown Media. He is a local business owner, community advocate and has lived or worked in West Hollywood since 1985. Larry has served as Chairman of the Public Facilities Commission and Chairman of the Disability Advisory Board.

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Joe Bologna
Joe Bologna
1 month ago

I had a word salad once. I almost choked on a pronoun. Or it may have been the “Q” in GLBTQRSTUVWXYZAJBNOQ.

Word Salad Dictionary
Word Salad Dictionary
1 month ago

How about Wehoville publishing the first WORD SALAD DICTIONARY? You could get some valuable pointers from the City planning department who appear fluent in its use and the endless stream of Social Justice Complaint Factory.

When fall/winter comes it could be used as a convenient fire starter in your/his/hers/their/theirs fireplace.

Merriam Webster, my dictionary from college years, is still in use.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing this lovely family story, and for providing a bit of levity in otherwise angry times.

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