Do any of you remember this kids’ book called Frindle by Andrew Clements?
It was about a boy who decided to test the power of words by calling pens “frindles.” He does this as a prank, but he’s able to effect change when he gets his whole class, then his whole school, then his whole state, and then the whole country to begin calling a pen a “frindle.”
The plot was unrealistic to me, even by my formerly childlike standards. However, I’ve never been able to get out of my head how awesome it would be to create a new word for something or to change the regular meaning of a word into something else.
Words are constantly re-purposed, it’s a natural part of a word’s life, but wouldn’t it be cool to be the person at the head of such a movement?
That is why I’ve decided to try and popularize the use of the word “primary” as meaning “holy-freaking awesome.”
This endeavor started months ago. I was at J.C. Penney’s with my friend Andreya (more on her here) picking out clothes for my Comic Con Speed Racer outfit (more on that here). The bright blue of the shirt I eventually found, necessary for any classic Speed Racer costume, was dazzling under the fitting room lights. When I stepped out of my stall to show Andreya the shirt, we were both enthusiastic about it. The only word I could think to use to describe both my appearance and my delight in it was “primary.”
Side note: Being one of the best friends a person could ask for, Andreya totally agreed with me that “primary” should be a thing.
“Primary” popped into my head partially because the blue of the shirt was inescapably indicative of primary colors. It was the exact shade of blue you use when teaching that basic art lesson. It was also a prime example of Speed Racer shirt-wear. And it was an all-around first-rate shirt.
Sadly, despite my best efforts, “primary” hasn’t caught on.
Side note: Yet.
For one thing, I don’t go out and socialize much. I’m a complete and utter home-body. When my sister took me out to a restaurant a few days ago, she noticed I seemed a tad flustered being out in public. I was loath to admit it, but she was right. I don’t always know how to act when a lot of people are around. So my chances of using “primary” in social company are lessened by the fact that I just don’t go out in social company. My boyfriend Danny once took me to a bar to hang out for one of his friends’ birthdays, and I sat at a table reading for most of the time in very dim lighting.
Side note: That was not only poor social etiquette, that was bad optical-care behavior as well.
Another thing I’ve noticed that is hindering “primary” is the fact that a lot of my friends think it’s stupid. I’ve outright asked some of them if they could start using it in conversations, and they just stare at me blankly and say, “Yeah, I’m not doing that.”
Side note: Maybe I should start calling them “friends” with air quotes, since clearly they don’t understand the true meaning of friendship.
I’m going to persevere, and who knows? Maybe in a few dozen years I’m going to start hearing the young ‘uns say how oh so totally primary that new Star Wars XXVII movie is.
Until then, so long from your dose of Below Average thoughts.