Wednesday, November 21, 2007

11-21-07: Kerfuffle

Have you ever heard the word “kerfuffle” used in a sentence? Well, I hadn’t until about five minutes ago. I’ve since heard it used twice in two separate instances. The first was by Fred Thompson in a speech in Rochester, NH; the second was in an NPR podcast. Both involved political situations.

The word itself isn’t the issue. It’s a goofy word, and is the equivalent of a commotion or a state of disorder. Thompson used it to describe the mess surrounding the restructuring of several states’ primaries, and how at end of it all, New Hampshire will still be first. Just some politicking on his part, I know, but I don’t remember ever hearing the word before. Then, just a few minutes later (if that), I heard it used in an NPR news podcast. Strange.

That reminds me of something that pops up every once in a while: have you ever heard a word or phrase used for the first time, then begin noticing it frequently? It’s a strange phenomenon. It’s not as if you’ve never heard the word before; you probably just never noticed it. Once you start paying attention to it, you notice it used all the time. One of my high school friends said she had a number haunting her. She had a really clever story associated with it, too. It kept popping up in various situations. I forget the number, but I’m pretty sure it’s not quite like in the movie 23 with Jim Carrey. My friend didn’t end up having a sinister alter ego, at least none that I know of.

Has that ever happened to you? Do you have any phrases or numbers “haunting” you?

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