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Monday, July 2, 2012


It wasn't much of an evening. I was baking cupcakes for my daughter's class party, and he was watching hockey. I didn't mean for it to escalate the way it did, but then, these things always do come out of nowhere.

It began with a fight on the ice. The gloves came off, the players were circling, grabbing and punching, and the announcer called out with great glee:

"Looks like a real donnybrook there on the ice!"

"What???" The man said. "What the hell is he saying?"

"He said it was a donnybrook." Blank look. I then decided to clarify: "You know...a fight."

"Now how would I know that?" He added, disgustedly. "What kind of stupid word is that?"

"Irish. It's Irish. A colloquialism."

"HUH?" He was getting mad because this was interrupting his game, but he couldn't get out of the conversation.

"Slang. In this case, slang in another language. Like if you asked for a 'cheesesteak-wit', it would sound odd to someone who wasn't from Philly."

"I know what slang is." He said, good and mad now that I've not only pointed out that I know something he doesn't, but I've pushed it too far and now I sound like a supercilious know-it-all. Which I'm not. Even if I do use words like 'supercilious'.

"He could have also said there was a hullaballoo." I added, with a grin. "That would've worked."

"Enough!" he said in exasperation. "I didn't want to turn this into an issue. I just want to watch my game."


He reached for his sandwich, shaking his head as if to clear it. 

"Didn't mean to start a brouhaha." I said, nonchalantly.

I just couldn't resist. What can I say? I'm loquacious and pedantic like that.

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