The heartbreak of affixation


Pictures of kittens used merely for shock value.

WARNING: Due to some unfortunate and unforeseeable circumstances, today’s post, which was supposed to appear yesterday, is probably going to be tomorrow’s post. It is an elusive pack of words that I’ve been trying to corral all morning, but they’re out in the back forty, wandering around. Every time I get near them, they stampede. Thus, today’s words, which were intended for tomorrow, are here today, docile as kittens, but not house-trained. Please try not to step in anything.


Yesterday I talked about how untrained business people do bad things to nouns by attaching wings and trying to make them fly as verbs, merely fertilizing park benches and other nonliving objects. Some sent as carrier pigeons have messages stuffed in their beaks, but fly backwards, ending up in all the wrong places. Most drop the message and spent the rest of their lives flying overhead, making a lot of noise but not a lot of sense, and releasing something that looks like snow but isn’t.


People suited for business are not suited to affix words.


At night I weep for the wee little nouns that have been almost suffixed to death because someone thought it would fun to add “-ize” to them. The merry little bucket being carried up the hill by Jack and Jill is grabbed from the children’s chubby fingers and finds itself in a business meeting with men in suits making it say “bucketize” while “organize” is marginalized, and no one will make eye contact with it.  Later, in a different city, a young girl pours out her heart in her diary, dotting all the “i’s” with hearts, and then tucks it in a drawer. That night, some thug hired by a multinational business breaks into the house, steals the diary, and the next morning women in suits command their underlings to “diarize” the meeting. And where is “record”? Crying its eyes out in the bathroom, that’s where.

Don't let more cents be lost in board rooms.

Most heartbreaking of all are those pennies you fail to pick up because you don’t think they are worth anything. Friend, stoop down, humble yourself, that penny needs you. Don’t ask questions about how it got lost or how many hands it has allowed to hold it. Every penny deserves another chance. Corporations have people trolling the streets looking for lost pennies, promising them jobs in board rooms, and telling them they can hobnob with paper money. But, people, all of those cents picked up by these corporate criminals are affixed in ways that permanently disfigure them, forcing them to spend the rest of their lives as an “incent” or an “incentivize” or, worst of all, a “disincentivize.” That’s no way to live. People who do that to nouns should have their “-ize” removed.


Harsh? Yes, it’s harsh, but think what they are doing to those nouns.


Affixation should be left to professional wordmasters. I am currently meeting with my imagination to discuss the idea of licensing. We believe that skilled wordmasters should practice a kind of catch and release, in which words are temporarily affixed to use on blogs. Once the posting is over, the trained wordmaster carefully detaches any and all affixes and releases the word back into the wild.


Takeaway for the day:  Change up your life. If you see a penny on the street, don’t walk by; pick it up. It makes more sense to take it home than to leave it there.