Poor Noah Webster would turn over in his grave if he saw the changes in the English language that would appear in his dictionary.
Born in 1758 in Connecticut, Webster, who graduated from Yale University in 1778 as a 19-year-old, was passionate about grammar, spelling and usage and is credited for publishing the first American dictionary for the English language.
Webster is synonymous with the dictionary, as his name remains on the Merriman-Webster Dictionary that first published nearly 200 hundred years ago.
While Webster had his ideas of definitions, our daffynitions are more apropos today.
Here’s a list of our daffynitions in alphabetical order.
ADULT — Webster probably would define an adult as a person who is fully developed and mature. That’s not our daffynition. An adult is someone who has stopped growing at both ends and now is only growing in the middle.
BEAUTY PARLOR — Webster would define it as a place where woman go to get their hair and nails done. Not us. It really is a place where women curl up and dye.
CHICKEN — Mr. Webster would call the chicken a domestic fowl usually with brown or black feathers that is raised for its meat or eggs. Our daffyniton is different. The chicken could be the only creature that you eat before it is born and after it is dead.
COMMITTEE — Noah would call a committee a group of men and/or women appointed or chosen to perform a function for a larger group such as a city, school board or club. Sorry, that’s not our daffynition. A committee is a body that takes minutes for a formal record and proceeds to waste hours.
COOL — Webster would have meant something pertaining to temperature or keeping calm and not showing emotions in a pressure situation. The daffynition is someone who is less tense.
EGOTIST — Webster would say somebody who has an overt inflated opinion of himself. The daffynition is a person who is me-deep in conversation.
HIP — Webster would call it the joint in a body. Naaaaah. The daffynition is somebody who is cool or understands what’s happening.
INFLATION — The daffynition is simple: Cutting money in half without ruining the paper.
MOSQUITO — Webster would simply say a small insect that can leave a harmless bite. The daffynition is a bug that makes you appreciate a fly.
RAISIN — The daffynition is terrific. A grape with a sunburn.
SECRET — The daffynition is a tidbit of information you tell one person at a time.
SKELETON — Webster would call it the combination of bones in a body. The daffynition is a bunch of bones with the body scraped off.
TOOTHACHE — A pain in a tooth, according to Webster. He’s sorta right on this one. The daffynition is a pain that drives you to extraction.
TOMORROW — Webster would define tomorrow as the day after today. The daffynition is more apropos. Tomorrow is one of today’s greatest labor-saving devices.
WRINKLES — The daffynition is lines that other people have on their faces. What I have are well-earned character lines.
YAWN — The daffynition is better than what Webster has. It’s an honest opinion of a situation that is visually expressed.
A senior driving moment
A senior citizen was driving on Interstate 75 near Atlanta when his car telephone rang. Answering quickly, the old guy heard his wife giving him a stern warning.
“Honey, I just heard on the 5 o’clock news that there is a car going the wrong way on Interstate 75. Please be very careful,” she said.
“Heck,” he told his wife. “It’s not just one car. There are hundreds of them going the wrong way.”