Monthly Archives: November 2009

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Big-time dictionary drama

My chief complaint about being a student is that I no longer have time to blog about other peoples’ mistakes. Between drinking espresso and smoking self-consciously and wearing knee socks, I’ve been forced to neglect all the truly exciting, schadenfreudy stuff like typos on the GOP website and arts & crafts gone bad and fashion faux pas(es?) documented by the Fug girls. But tonight I couldn’t resist taking time away from my studies to note the following fuck-up. From my inbox:

Word of the Day for Tuesday, November 3, 2009

sommelier \suhm-uhl-YEY; Fr. saw-muh-LYEY\, noun:

To involuntarily repeat a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.

If the wine list is not online, drop by the restaurant in advance, look over the list and talk with the sommelier. It’s a small investment in time that will pay big dividends.
— Ernest Hemmingway, The Sun Also Rises

I want to feel terrible for the intern responsible for this, I really do, but at the same time I’ve made so many embarrassing errors this semester, from going in for the hug when someone was just stretching, to bombarding my professors with PLEASE FIND ME CHARMING emails, to cringing in class because I burnt my wrist with my skinny gold bracelets while drunkenly cooking pasta over an open flame, resulting in a week of appearing to have slashed myself for attention, while simultaneously fending off a recent compulsion to lick my front teeth at every idle moment, I think because my oral hygiene’s not so great, basically declaring myself a cutter with a coke habit, preventing me from raising my hand confidently in class and from excusing myself for the restroom without sending up a red flag, that I. . . um. God, it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.

In short, I really need to feel superior to someone right now, and so I choose the person who spells Hemingway with two m’s and gives him a web-surfing habit and who, even more delightfully, attributes Tourette’s Syndrome to wine experts. On Tuesday, after I’d notified my father of the mistake, he forwarded me his own word-of-the-day definition from I don’t think it’s coincidence that “daymare” landed in his inbox an hour after “sommelier” landed in mine. These vocab people must all know each other:



noun: A terrifying experience, similar to a nightmare, felt while awake.