I love listening to others talk, especially when I can actually hear them.
The articulate verses the urban…sounds of slang and what’s correct.
Often a word jumps out, getting my attention like this morning, eavesdropping on a burly fellow in a peacoat and a Patriots hat talk about the Super Bowl.
He said with great pride,”Chaff, those fucken Falcons…all chaff, with that 28 point lead…the arrogant fucks. But we won goddammit cause we’re the Patriots, mother fucka…we had more heart.”
His four-letter words rained upon me, but they weren’t what turned my head.
Chaff…the word chaff, shimmied into my senses like a hula girl.
A noun, meaning…the husks of corn or other seed separated by winnowing or threshing…chopped hay and straw used as feed, or fodder.
But there’s another meaning for chaff…trash, garbage, schlock and crap, which clearly applied to our braying patriot’s feeling towards the fallen Falcons.
To distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones in this case, on a playing field.
It also represents, good-natured banter, repartee, ribbing and wisecracks.
Or as a verb, chaffing…making fun of, poking fun at, making sport of your friends.
You don’t always find a word that can be used both negatively, turned inside out, into a positive spin.
Separating the wheat from the chaff…hulking the husks, stripping it’s shell. One could say, their critic was flaying the Falcons down the middle, ridding them of their swagger and pluck.
Chaff…what a fine word to learn amid all that bravado, sandwiched in between so many fucks, separating the chaff from the grain, holding it up, like a perfect stalk of wheat.
Ah…isn’t language lovely?
Where would we be without it?