Daily Archives: March 27, 2023


Aphorismus ( a-phor-is’-mus): Calling into question the proper use of a word.

Me: You keep calling me “hun.” I haven’t said anything up to now because I don’t want to ire you or otherwise make you floss and fume. I am not a hun. I am from New Jersey and was raised Catholic. There was a gang called “The Huns,” but I couldn’t join because I had a red motor scooter and the gang rode big noisy motorcycles. So, please stop calling me “hun.”

You: God, where do I begin? I understand most of what you say, but as usual, your gibberish index is high. First, when I call you “hon” it’s short for honey—H-O-N. It has nothing to do with Huns—H-U-N-S. Huns were crazy people who swept into Europe from South Asia in the 4th and 5th centuries and nearly wiped it out. Some people say they were after the closely guarded secret recipe for cannolis when they sacked Rome. They failed, and cannolis remained a regional dish with their recipe held by a handful of Romans who disguised it with mozzarella cheese and hid it under straw in Buffalo corals when the Huns invaded.

So, again, “hon” is short for “honey,” the sweet sticky liquid that bees produce. When I call you “hon” I’m calling you sweet—a term of endearment, because I love sweet things, and people like you who’re sweet. In that vein, I could call you sugar too, Hon. Now, let’s look at me “flossing and fuming.” We’ll let fuming go, but “flossing” is totally off the mark. Flossing is what you do with a piece string after you brush your teeth. I think you’re actually going for “fussing,” which is usually used along with fuming to denote a quality of anger and deep consternation. “Flossing and fuming,” on the other hand would refer to an oral hygiene regime undertaken in anger. I can imagine it’s possibility, but clearly it’s not what you intended. You misused the word.

Me: Ok ok Ms. Language Police. You understood me, that’s what matters. I guess my problem was that I misunderstood you when you called me “Hon.” Hun and hon sound the same. My mistake could be expected. But I guess calling me Hun should’ve rung a bell, but I sort of thought you were calling me bad ass, which is a compliment where I come from. I could see myself in a black leather jacket, jeans and boots, and couple of tattoos, instead of this stupid blue blazer and gray pants and a striped tie and wingtips I have to wear to work as towel boy in the hotel restroom. My boss is a bully. I would commit pesticide if I wasn’t afraid of what would happen to me in prison. I’d tear the hand drier out of the wall and beat him over the head with it.

You: Oh, you’re such a wild man. I understand what you’re trying to say, Hun. You’d like to ambush the patrician in the bath! I understand you and that’s good enough for me.

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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