If you’re new to the Old Man Rant, here’s how it goes.  Once I turned 50, I started venting my frustration at the irritations of life.  It felt good, so I kept doing it.  I call these periodic and hopefully humorous verbal tantrums Old Man Rants.

So why is this Episode #9a?

Because I published Episode #9 at Wise & Shine Magazine. You can experience my full irritability on the topic of words by reading it there at this link. But I didn’t get it all off my chest over there. Here’s the rest of what’s making me grind my teeth at night.


I love words, but sometimes they irritate me.  Words are very important communication tools, but sometimes their sound and their meanings just don’t match up.

For example: bucolic

Look at it.  Say it out loud.  What does it bring to mind?  To me, bucolic sounds like a word that describes those really gross burps of hot liquid that swirl up your esophagus at night, waking you as they and land in your mouth as a tablespoon of foul-tasting vomit (this most often occurs to me after eating spicy food too close to bed time).

But do you know what bucolic actually means?  If not, here’s the definition according to Google:

bucolic: relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.

That word and its definition go together about as well as a white-shirted toddler and a bowl of spaghetti – extra sauce.

On the flip side, some words match their meaning perfectly.

Example: absurd

Do the same test as before.  Look at the word and say it out loud.  The word itself sounds somewhat ridiculous, just like the things it describes.  Big respect to whoever’s responsible for that!

Ah! I feel better now, time to go chase some punks off my lawn.

For more Old Man Rants and other stories, visit Five O’Clock Shadow, my magazine style blog and don’t forget to follow Wise & Shine Magazine for stories and articles of all kinds by a talented team of writers (that somehow includes me too).