I wonder why “D” words are so often downers?
Death, disease, depression, despair, desperation, divorce, doom, despondency, doldrums, detritus.
Decompose, destruct, deconstruct, demoralize, demonize.
Decrepit, dim-witted, dumb, disheartened, disemboweled (sorry), dead, discombobulated, dilapidated, dingy, delusional, desperate.
That last one’s a cheat. We’ve already listed its brother Darrell and its other brother Darrell: “despair” and “desperation.” Darn!
On, though, we go. Don’t forget dark, drear, and dreary. Cheating again. I admit it.
“It was a dark and stormy night.”
I don’t doubt it. I’m betting it was dreary, too. But I’ll betcha dollars to donuts that it wouldn’t have been half that dismal if it had been a night described with “J” words. It’s the “D” words that tend to be joyless and short on [exception noted] delight.
Just admit it. For general dreariness, the “Ds” double down. To get to the heart of “gloom, despair, and agony on me,” you go to the “Ds.”
In the, uh, duh, “D” section, the “Dis-” section (not to be confused with actual dissection) could easily fill up their own dreary chapter. Some of these we’ve already mentioned.
Disgraced, dishonored, disheartened, disenfranchised, discombobulated (my favorite).
Yeah, and a dodgy, downright whiny cut-rate word degraded as a verb, a word that was much more respectable as a noun: disrespect. Ironically, it’s used most by folks who are misbehaving and haven’t figured out that respect, unlike love, can’t be bestowed on demand. By its very nature, the real thing has to be earned.
But “demand” brings us back around to the “Ds” and a dismal start to a downer of a story.
“It really was a dark and dreary night. Demas Diddledeedump, quite frankly a bit of a dim-witted, disheartening, sometimes almost delusional doofus, dwelt in a dingy, dilapidated dive of a domicile, almost as dark and dreary as the night. He lodged with an attack dog, a defanged dachshund, amidst the decomposing detritus of what might be despondently described as a discombobulated and decidedly depressing life.” Hmm.
I admit it. This story, which I’ll not complete, and inDDDeed, this entire essay, isn’t worth a drat and has no particular direction. Since I write columns with points all the time, I figured it was high time for a pointless one.
But here’s a little bit of a blunt point, and if you have any wordsmithing in your blood, poetry in your soul, or any alliterative inclination, you’ll be cursing me in the key of D (which is easy) after you’ve read this. You see, if you breathe “D” air too long, all you can see is da Ds. A little like an ear-worm of a song, it’s more of a tongue-tying twist.
I’d suggest, as God’s people, we skip on over to H for hope, J for joy. Or just center on a different D. Just a little of God’s real Delight trumps a boatload of Ds of the depressing sort. That’s something delicious worth dwelling on.
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Copyright 2016 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.