Word Nerd Wednesday: That’s Fake News

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! Fall has come in swinging here in Virginia and I’m loving it. Somehow cooler weather makes everything seem better, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s just me. Moving right along . . .

Today’s word nerd story story is about a high schooler named Calum. Calum has been known to get into a bit of trouble occasionally, especially with his best friend, Yate. The two are as thick as thieves, as they say. And one day, neither of them is at school. The rumors start flying.

“I heard they stole a car and took off for Mexico,” one student says.

“My brother knows someone at the police department and he says they got arrested for dealing drugs,” another student asserts.

On and on, the rumors fly, about exactly what kind of trouble Calum and Yate have gotten themselves into now.

To create rumors about “Calum ‘n Yate” = calumniate (kuh-LUM-nee-ate), which means to slander or defame. No doubt you’re familiar with the concept, even if the word is new to you. Calumniating is as old as time, a weapon of manipulation and control, and it’s become a regular political tactic these days.

Like C.H. Spurgeon said, “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” If some piece of negative information flies fast and spreads quickly, be wary: it may be the result of some crafty calumniating.

Word Nerd Wednesday: Moochers Beware

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! Is it just me or does it feel like this week is straggling? But we’ve made more than halfway. The end is in sight, my friends!

Moving right along. This week’s word story is about a woman named Cici.

Cici is bubbly and outgoing. She’s fun to be around. There’s just one major drawback to a friendship with Cici: she tends to ask for things, a lot, without giving back. Basically, she’s an emovamp,┬ásomeone who takes so much more than she gives. Her favorite phrase seems to be “Can’tcha? Please?” Every person who knows Cici has heard that phrase more than once as she badgers them to give her things they’ll never get back.

“Can’tcha” = cadge (rhymes with badge), meaning to sponge, beg, or mooch. We’ve all had to borrow from time to time, relying on the generosity of our friends. But mooching, always taking, never reciprocating, that’s just poor form all around. Don’t cadge, people.

So the next time someone tries to mooch off you, feel free to declare “don’t you try to cadge from me!” Or possibly, “alway with you and your cadging ways!” Whatever you prefer.