Monday, March 26, 2012


Do you have favorite words? Those that are either fun to say or you really like the meaning? I have several that I enjoy. Pompous is one, persnickety is another. Now I have never thought either as a compliment and have reserved them as my most scathing adjectives.

Pompous---Affectedly and irritatingly grand, solemn, or self-important: "a pompous ass"
So far, I haven't thought of my self as pompous as I usually reserve that term for politicians .

Persnickety----Placing too much emphasis on trivial or minor details, fussy.

I never thought that adjective would apply to me either but lately, it is hanging off me like comfortable clothing. How did I get this way and when did it happen? I suppose it has been there all along and just hasn't been recognized by my conscious mind. Suddenly I am aware of my “fussy” peculiarities.

Some of my fussy traits have always been there, I just thought them “normal”, at least for me. I have always been persnickety about my glass of milk. It must be ice cold or I can't drink it. That appeared in my child hood when I suddenly started demanding milk on the rocks.

My friends pretty much kept their comment about that demand confined to
“that's weird.” Those who knew me well eventually accepted it with just a smile and a head shake as did waitstaff in restaurants. At least those waiters in search of a tip saved the eye roll till after they turned away.

I am rather pleased to say however that I have passed that eccentric behavior to my brother's children. They saw me do it many years ago and  smartly thought it a good idea. A couple of them now days ask for ice in their milk. Hopefully, their children will do this also.

A hundred years from now, there will be a small group of people who will ask for ice in their milk and have no idea where it originated. I will look down ("down" hopefully will be the direction) and smile. Of course today I have gone modern and only use ice if frosty mugs aren't available.

Toast also has my persnickety stamp on it. I love peanut butter toast in the mornings. How I prepare it puts me in the "P"category. I cover every inch of the toast with peanut butter. I mean every inch. Not spread thickly but precisely. I hunt out bare spots and edges like a bloodhound after a convict.

When I am finally convinced that every inch is peanut butter flavored, I then coat my masterpiece with Spray Butter. Yes, that is reverse order but this removes the stick to the roof of your mouth aspect and it all slides down.

Lastly, I am a magazine junky.  The very first thing I do before I enjoy a new magazine is to hunt down and remove any form of advertising “blow in” cards. The loose ones I shake out and those that are attached, I rip out. It must be completely cardboard free before I read the first page. Odd how that will really skinny up a magazine.

Most things in life I am loosey goosey about.  For those and a few others that I am persnickety about, I am rigid.

Now I am beginning to wonder if persnickety and anal aren't closely related. Perhaps the term anal was created because someone couldn't spell persnickety?? Persnickety is a bit more classy and less graphic. Oops, did I just slip into pompous??

I have other examples but will spare you. However I am curious, do you have traits or actions that cause people who don't know you well to shake their heads and roll their eyes to your face?

Those who do know you well, trust me, do it behind your back.


  1. This was so much fun, Persnickety Patti! And yes, I do have favorite words, like "hornswoggle" and "flapdoodle." I'm sure I have habits that drive some people crazy, but I can't think what they might be, because to ME they seem perfectly normal. :-)

  2. Well I have a daughter just like you - everything has to be on the side with no ice. lol sandie

  3. LOL, LOL.....What a wonderful post, my dear....! Love your descriptions and I don't see anything peculiar about the things you mentioned. And, I share your strong feelings about the cardboard and/or paper Ads in Magazines....Out they all go, immediately!! And with one magazine in particular, I actually tear some of the pages out, too! At certain times of the year this particular magazine is so filled with fancy Ads that it actually weighs three pounds..!!! Tearing out the pages that "weigh" it down can reduce the weight by 1 1/2 to 2pounds---YES, that much---And you can then actually LIFT AND READ the! Many years ago, I tore ALL of that crap out and mailed it back to the magazine with a scathing letter and I was so disgusted by the amount of advertising, I ended my subscription. Alas, after about 5 years without it, and buying it on the Newstands occasionaly, I renewed my subscription, and now, every month I tear out ALL of the ADS--paper pages and all, the moment it arrives in the mail. I think I would use the word OBSESSED, as apposed to persnickity, in describing myself!

  4. ......SPLAT...!!
    Love that has sooo many meanings and uses....


  5. Butter spray on peanut butter? Yuck. By the way, cashew butter is much tastier than peanut butter & the calories are about the same. Milk over ice? Weird, who wants diluted milk?

    My main persnickety is having light come from the left. I can get ugly over that one. I do not hesitate to inform others that lamps should be on the left of chairs. No shadows that way.

  6. Peanut butter on saltines: the pb MUST be on the bottom (unsalted side) so the salt fits my tongue.
    Pancakes: MUST be served with the side with the air holes facing up to better catch the maple syrup.
    Coffee cream: Must be poured into the mug before the coffee. I can tell the difference.
    Otherwise not persnickety at all.

    Oh, and parsimonious is my favorite word.

  7. Only thing that comes to mind is mustard. If I don't have mustard for my Turkey sandwich, I will most likely eat something else.

  8. I do the same thing with my magazines. It is amazing how much paper is wasted on those darn pull outs.

  9. I pretty much just do with most things but my grandkids and their lack of hand washing drives me wackadoo (which is one of my favorite words). I specialize in nagging and the hand washing just is the point of nag every day.....and no one can fool me with that hand sanitizer nonsense...although they skip that too. Icky. Oma Linda

  10. Patti, You are a hoot! ahhh, that must be one of my word favs, along with scallywag. My gran used that word often to describe me as a little girl, til I nearly gave her a heart attack by saying "Nope I'm just heathen catholic, Gram."

  11. haha. Hilarious! I was chuckling throughout your post. Although I can't think of anything unusual about me, my kids will probably tell you how anal I am. Lol. Hubby often says: "Every little thing bothers you." Huh? No way!

  12. I have absolutely NO idiosyncracies. Everything I do is normal--for me! I've always marched to a different drummer.

    As for words, have you ever noticed how much little kids like to use the word "actually"?

  13. I love milk over ice...I thought I was the only one who did.:) I get strange looks from the waiters at the restaurant when I order it. I like the word twinkle....

  14. Dear Patti, . . . I so enjoyed this posting. Sat here reading it with a smile on my face. Thank you for laughter today as I get ready to have lunch--maybe toast with peanut butter spread to every crack and cranny.

    As to words: the ones I seem to use the most are "wonderful" and "bemuse." For most of my life I've been bemused.


  15. I think "persnickety" just might be a word that I could begin to apply to myself lately!

    As far as people shaking their heads behind my back, I have a SIL that doesn't mind doing it to my face. She has the old eye-roll down pat. Trouble is, I fail to see the reason for it. I don't say anything that outrageous! She just has always had it in for me for some reason. So I have a favorite word for her, but I'll let you guess what it might be. ha ha

    About the magazines. I love them too and do the exact same thing as you do...I take out those cards first thing!

  16. Patti, your iced milk story is so funny, especially how you passed it on down to your nieces and nephews.

    I drink my wine out of Jimmy Buffett mugs instead of wine glasses, but I think that is more of a practical matter (they don't tip over as easily).

    I was once married to a persnickety pompous ass who told me that I tell my stories wrong (something about starting in the middle instead of at the beginning), but oh, well, who is the writer now, lol!

    Have a super week,

    Kathy M.

  17. ... and there is the 'old' spelling from the Scots, pernickety.

  18. My dad would only drink milk over ice and I remove the card advertisements before reading a magazine also and save them for miniature one-time-use dustpans!

  19. Djan,
    Oh, I like those words. Flapdoodle has all sorts of possibilities. When you get older, perfectly normal seems to change definition a bit:))

    Chatty Crone,
    My, you must have a perfectly marvelous daughter.

    It makes one wonder if anyone actually uses those nasty cards. I know what you mean and that is not a bad idea to return all the crap.

    Blue Ridge Boomer,
    I have gone "splat" a few times myself.

    I must like diluted milk for I now have graduated to skim:)) Welcome to the persnickety club with that light thingy.

    You are so qualified and I love it. May have to try that peanut butter and cracker thing.

    Ha ha,if you start carrying mustard then you definitely qualify.

    Welcome and thanks for commenting. It really is a waste of trees isn't it?

    Linda in NM
    Wackadoo is a good one. You are just trying to keep the younguns healthy. Can't fault that.

    Now that is too funny. I had a Gram like that and I would have put her in a coma with that remark.

    So glad my affliction found your funny bone:)) Anal is just the step child of persnickety. Just enjoy.

    That is the proper attitude to take. I usually march to a different drummer also.

    Yes, I knew I couldn't be alone in such a delishious way to drink milk. Thanks. We really ought to start a club.

    Did you put spray butter on top? It really is good that way. I like bemuse also. Good one.

    Ouch. When they do it in a mean way, that is not funny. Think I know your favorite word for her.

    Jimmy would be so proud of your mugs. Sure glad you got rid of that P.P.A. That is really piling on with the negative adjectives. He must have been a doozie.

    I can only say that your Dad had excellent taste in beverages. Had to laugh for I have also used them for tiny dust pans.

  20. Nelljean,
    Thanks for stopping by. Good to know the origin. My grandmother was a tad scotch, maybe that is where I got the expression.

  21. I first met the word persnickety when I was a kid and it was used by a fellow teacher friend of my mother's. I latched on to it immediately and have savored its rhythm and humorous sound ever since. The surprise that your post delivered, however, was the 2x4 upside my head. Huh? I'm persnickety?

    Yep! I want my lightly toasted bread smeared with peanut butter exactly like you do sans the butter spray (sans is another collection of letters I like. but I don't know why); I abhor the magazine inserts and shake , rip and snort; I have loved my milk icy cold since childhood.

    In the 80s when I traveled the friendly skies frequently with my work, I always asked for milk with ice. Once I had a flight attendant ask me if I had been flying for many years. I was puzzled until she said in years gone by it had been customary to serve ice in milk and she recognized veteran travelers by their ice in milk request.

  22. I have a persnickety son. I loved it when it was his turn to do the dishes when he was a kid because he alphabetized the spices. You would LOVE the way he spreads peanut butter on toast. My mother said that was the closest she ever came to having a nervous breakdown... the day he offered to make her a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I can promise you that every bite was perfect.

    Rock on!

  23. My daughter is like that with toast too although it's usually jam rather than peanut butter. I don't have time to be persnickety!

  24. I also tear out the ads. Hate them. My mom uses the word "Piffle" as in "Oh, piffle!" when something is stupid. I love the word "serendipity". But it doesn't lend itself to conversations very often!

  25. Dear Ms. Persnickety,
    In reading your blog post, I thought it was a bit pompous that frosted mugs were a must. Now ice in the milk is as normal as milk itself. My big question – do you really have room in your freezer for a mug? Of course I guess you do only need one mug at a time in the freezer, so maybe that is not so pompous after all. Don’t start scratching your head about my logic. The other problem if I froze my favorite mug that would make it impossible to use it during none milk moments and we all know all beverages are way better when they are in one’s favorite mug!! Not that I am persnickety about using that and only that mug but if you come to my house…keep away from the Hot Rod mug. -- GQ

  26. What a brilliant post ...made me smile ...and ponder.I think my behaviour is noticed by those who know me ...I have become intolerant of late ...but then over some things I am pernickety. I too have to cover the entire toast in what ever the bottom layer is to be. I also cant leave a sandwich with any bare bits...filling had to cover the crust too.
    I am not sure about words ...they go in and out of favout ...especially those that cover several objects and are rarely seen written I have no idea how to actually spell them 'oojimawatsit' or 'thingymajig'xx

  27. Actually, the women and men in my Mom's family have a habit of cleaning off any table they happen to be sitting at. This requires a swift brush with the side of the palm to remove crumbs or even imaginary crumbs. Don't know where that came from but we all do it.

    Down South, they say "Ticky" for people like you. As in She's real ticky about her milk. Dianne

  28. I so enjoyed this post, Patti, and am still smiling over your favorite words as well as your snack selections! And I'm still thinking about what my favorite words of the moment might be.

  29. LC,
    You are a lady of obvious great taste. That is interesting about the milk and airlines. That means there may be a bunch of us out there.Yea.

    Mary lee,
    Your son and I would have no problem fixing sandwiches for each other. Gee, what a great kid.

    Mom of 12,
    I think I can see why you might not have time to be persnickety. How you stay regular is beyond me with your schedule:))

    I know some of the cool words just don't have the opportunity to be heard. That is one reason for the persnickety post. Finally got to use is.

    Actually, I have 4 of them in my freezer. Never with out a frosty mug. Hay, if you have to get rid of the ice cream, it is worth it.

    Well "thingymajig" I use a lot along with whatchamacallit:)) Must admit that "oojimawatsit" is new to me.

    Oh, I like "ticky". I may adopt that one, thanks.

    Dr. Kathy McCoy,
    So glad you enjoyed. That was my purpose. With your vocabulary I am sure you have dozens.

  30. A great and funny post, Patti! Thanks for sharing. I have no special words I like I am afraid.
    Have a wonderful week, Patti.

  31. No ice for me please, I don't like ice against my lips when drinking liquids so a straw is necessary for me. I rip those magazine ads out every chance I get and when I am reading the magazines in the grocery line they fall out everywhere. I also rip ads off my windshield and resent them being place there. Lately I have taken to uncovering the women's magazine that have a blank plastic cover which here in the South is something they do to hide what folks consider risque photos of women (cleavage showing) - they never cover the men so I uncover them just to be ornery.

    Lets see what words I use, (well ones I can actually say here anyway), "what a bunch of huey" covers a whole myriad of things. We learned in Arkansas the term "I ain't never" when referring to something you have never heard or are doubtful of believing is true. Never is really drawn out and emphasized. Oh I know the most used word is "Anything" but I pronounce it "Anyting" when Gary comes home or I call someone on the phone and they answer - my nephew one day answered the phone when he was about ten and I said "Anyting" and he said (quick witted he was) Anything but Aunt Linda. Ha.

  32. Funny u mentioned the eye rolling thing behind our backs. I never noticed it from my kids until this past year. It seems the older I get the more eye rolls.
    Every time I read one your post which is a lot I end of wishing you were my neighbor out here in this pink house behind me. Oh what fun we could have. I would keep plenty of ice and peanut butter on hand for you dear friend.
    I laughed so hard reading about you spreading the peanut butter on your toast. Too dang funny. I never heard of spraying it though with butter.
    Now I am hungry talking about this I might just have the ole peanut butter and jelly sandwich for supper. haha
    You have me wondering what my favorite word is. At one time it was discombobulated now I would have to think.
    Have you planted your veggies in pots this year. I just now today did some bell peppers and the other day some tomato's. My lettuce is still going from last summer.
    Enjoy your week

  33. Reader Wil,
    Thank you and I am so glad you are back from Israel. Looking forward to your adventures.

    Linda Starr,
    Well aren't you naughty :)) Such a clever little nephew you have.

  34. Grandma Yellow Hair,
    Ha ha,I don't often get an offer for unlimited ice and peanut butter, thanks:))
    I still use discombobulated, entirely too much.
    I haven't used pots this year like last year. They were easy but had limited harvest but my raised beds are thriving.

  35. I share your perskickety removal of the cards in magazines. I have a few others but the one that drives me most wild has to do with my (which I will share with my family) newspaper. If you read it before I do YOU MUST put the sections back in order. It is especially bothersome if someone has folded back pages and not returned them to proper position. And working the crossword??? Don't even think of it.

    I often have PB toast for breakfast as well but I'm not at all persnickety about that. I spread the PB thickly. And half the fun is having the PB sticking to the roof of you mouth.

  36. Oh my. And here I thought I had to be the only person in the world who religiously tore out all those inserts in a magazine before reading it.... :)

  37. Pretty much every thing I do causes eye rolling around here...

  38. Ugh, I can't stand those inserted cards in magazines. I shake them all out and in the trash they go!

  39. I love milk over ice. When we eat breakfast out and I order sausage gravy over biscuits, I always ask for some dill pickles, I get some strange looks sometimes. but I like the two together. I also can not stand putting my hand into a bag of bread that has been half used, I have to trim the bag down to size. I just hate that feeling, don't ask me why, I have no idea. LOL I also love the word persnickety, although I don't use it, but believe me there have been plenty of time I could have, especially for myself.

  40. American always put too much ice in drinks for me! It always dilutes the flavour especially if it's alcohol!

    We use some funny words which we use instead of the correct ones like "Pavlova" instead of "palava". Although I think the word "palava" may be slang too. It means it's a load of hassle.

  41. Just seeing the title of this reminded me of my dear friends late mother. She always used funny words in her vocabulary. As a child I thought she made them up. I loved listening to her talk.

  42. NC Mountain woman,
    So far no one has said they look forward to those cards and while they may occasionally make a mini dust pan, they mainly annoy. So why?

    I think we need to get a petition going. What say you?

    Oh dear, I kind of know what you mean.

    Coloring outside the lines,
    That tears it. Think I will write the editors. Such a waste of trees.

    I can't believe I have wrestled with half empty bread bags for 72 years and not figured that out. I went right out and cut my bag down. Thanks.

    LL Cool Joe,
    Yikes, that's right. You all drink warm beer. I would never have made it in the land of my people.
    I can relate to lots of hassle.

    Memoirs of meand Mine,
    Welcome to TNS and thank you for commenting. Sadly some of the older sayings have gone out of style unless the younger ones find them useful.

  43. Loved this especially when you got to the anal and all I could think of is "oh sh*t" which I tend to utter here and there. Milk has been off my menu for years. I believe calves should have it not me! Can't really enjoy it. No one in our family tolerates it.
    Magazine purchases are a rarity now but I too get rid of that inserted junk.

  44. Actually my children have mentioned that I do have some anal tendencies. I'm probably persnickety too.

  45. Sure a lot of 'P's in this post. So I may add one or two more. Pompous I also associate with Pride. I hope when I was an elected official I was not pompous. I usually mentioned my postion when persons asking me question of which I was knowledgeable, yet they were questioning, I would remind them the subject at hand I had relevant knowledge.

    Persnickety I am guilty. In fact I have a few compulsive habits, i.e. all towels must be hung with folded edge facing same direction and my perceived "right side" out. Further the toilet Paper must roll to the front as I hate getting my chubby little fingers squished between the roll and the material to which it might be mounted.

    words peculiar to my vocabulary, cattywompus and catty corner (ALSO kitty corner, corruption of cater corner): definitions similar, yet slightly different.

  46. Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, the places where I was, were peaceful and friendly. It would have been different in the Gaza area, more is the pity.

  47. I've always loved words and enjoyed your examples. My friends say that I have a way of raising my eyebrows when I disapprove of something but I think they're making this up !

  48. Heidrun Khokhar
    I think we all use that term now and then:)) I wonder if anyone ever reads those cards??

    Kids are the first to notice and tell us. I think a little persnickety is good.

    Oh, me too on toilet paper coming from the top. The world really is just devided into two groups--under or over the top toilet paper:))

    Reader Wil,
    I know, maybe someday there will be peace. We can hope. I am glad it was safe where you were.

    Next time you do it, have them tell you so you can know if you are diaspproving or not. Seems they are on to your signals.

  49. Of course, I'm perfect, Patti - neither pompous nor persnickety. Uh -oh - maybe that statement was a bit pompous - but I swear - not persnickety. PS Spray butter?

  50. I know my daughters roll their eyes at me - in front of me and behind my back (I much prefer to see this). I'm sure I get eye rolls from others, too, but I don't want to know about these. I'm glad I don't work for the post office, because I don't like the words "Rural Route." Very awkward to say. I, for some weird reason, like the word debacle, but I'm happy I rarely have reason to use it. Happy Easter to you and yours.