Lynx, Destroyer of Worlds (with Science!) (lynxreign) wrote,
Lynx, Destroyer of Worlds (with Science!)
lynxreign

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Morning on the Subway

I dozed most of the way in on the train and was delighted to catch the E train with no wait. It was mostly empty too, so I got a seat in the middle section. Sitting fairly near me, on my side of the car, were two grad students. At least I think they were both grad students, I know one was from the conversation I'm about to relate to you. We'll call these two young women Red Hat (R) and Obvious Student (S). I started paying attention to the conversation only because R said something I thought odd. The conversation continued strangely enough that I kept listening. (All dialogue approximate)

R: I didn't say I found him attractive, only that he was sexy.
S: You have the worst taste in men.
R: No I don't.
S: Yes you do, he's short and mustachi... mustacho...
R: Mustachioed
S (practicing saying it): Mustachioed Mustachioed Mustachioed.
They then go on to start talking about words and S says: I love the OED. I use it all the time. There are so many great words in there.
R: Isn't it subscription only? (Side note: it is)
S: No. I didn't subscribe and I use it all the time.
R: Maybe your school subscribes and you get it through that
S: Maybe, I don't know. I just know that it is the only place I can find some words, like imbrication. In bri ka tion. (obviously savoring the word) I looked on Mirriam-Webster and that red one and the OED is the only one that had it. (Side Note: Dictionary.com also has it)
R: What is it?
S: It means overlapping, like tiles. It comes from the Sanskrit "Omber"1 (Pronouncing it "AHM-ber" and again, clearly savoring the word) and...
R: Overlapping tiles?
S: Like on a roof. The sanskrit word also means rain and that's why roof tiles. I'd never heard the word before I started reading these pretentious literary criticisms. Just because they have PhDs from Oxford or something they think they can use words to mean whatever they want. They were using it to mean overlap, just any kind of overlap, but of course they can't SAY "overlap" because that's too common. I came across "imbrication" three times in three different articles, all meaning "overlap". I never came across this kind of thing before I started reading literary criticisms. (Starts talking in a "snooty" voice.)
Obviously the imbricaaation of Modern Feminism and *unintelligible* are at the core of the ...
R: Well, Shakespeare used words like that
S: Well sure, but he's Shakespeare. He can do that.

At this point they got off the train. Best overheard conversation ever.
There was more to the conversation, but it all went like that. I couldn't stop grinning as I listened.

And the people that took their seats kept talking about poetry! What is with this city?

1imbrication

1650, from Fr. imbrication, from L. imbricare "to cover with tiles," from imbricem (nom. imbrex) "curved roof tile used to draw off rain," from imber (gen. imbris) "rain," from PIE *mbh- (cf. Skt. abhra "cloud, thunder-cloud, rainy weather," Gk. ombros "rain"), from base *nebh- "moist, water"
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