I like big words. I use big words because they’re fun. They sound funny and they are funny in your mouth. They tickle. Grownups tell me I am going to be a writer when I get older, or a politician. I go usufruct, and they say, you should be a writer. I go excogitate, and they say, this boy is going to be a politician.
But big words are just my hobby. When I grow up I want to be a fireman and I don’t guess firemen have that much use for big words. When firemen are on the job they speak short and easy. They say smoke, fire, hot, hose, ladder, axe, gas mask and so on. There isn’t time for anything more. They don’t shout ambidextrous. Not when they are fire fighting.
I tell people I’m ambidextrous all the time. I’m not, but I like to use that word. I had to practice before I got it right. Now I can rattle it off just like that. Ambidextrous. And I know what it means. Most of my words I don’t know what they mean, because I don’t look them up. I can’t look them up, because I can’t spell. I guess. I like to fill in the meaning because of the situation. If a guy in a film is eating breakfast with a big smile on his face and I hear him say frambwaz then I figure it has to do with his smiling or his breakfast and next time I hear that word in another situation I will put two and two together. After a while I get it right — I think.
But if I only hear a word once . . . Mr Carson, one of my teachers, asked me the other day how I was doing and I answered, frambwaz. And I could tell from the way he looked at me that frambwaz wasn’t a very good answer about how I was doing. But you know he didn’t ask me what I meant by frambwaz — he just tucked his lower lip over his bottom teeth the way he does and nodded. I’ve found out that most people will never ask what I mean with my big words. I came out with polysemic synesthesia at my Grandmother’s the other day and she just gave me one of those this-boy-is-really-smart looks.
Of course I have no idea what polysemic synesthesia means, nor do I know what preposterous, rambunctious, surreptitious or boisterous mean — not yet, anyway, but they all have that great wooshing sound at the end and they are sure show-stoppers with grownups. I don’t know what that means either — show stoppers. Because in one film I saw someone did good and someone said it was a show-stopper and in another film someone screwed up and someone else said that was a show-stopper. So I am in the dark on that as well.
As you might have guessed I see a lot of films. How else would I get my big words? I don’t read at all — it’s boring. I watch movies on the Internet. I see at least one film a night on my laptop lying in bed. I keep it under the sheets in case my parents come in. Or sometimes I watch 3 or 4 episodes of a series like The Wire or In Treatment all in a row. I think that this is illegal. But I’m only nine years old. What are they going to do to me? I am more worried about my parents finding out why I can’t get up in the mornings and maybe take away my laptop.
The other kids in school think I’m a show-off because of the big words. I told Sebastian he was nullified. And he said I was a dummy. Then I told him he was translucent and he goes, show-off. So I went, coronary thrombosis, and he went, dummy, again. That was it, you see? He had used up all he had and was repeating himself. I went ubiquitous and myriad and bucolic and he just kept going, dummy, show-off, dummy. I don’t remember who gave up first. I have to be careful though because he is a lot bigger than me and I think he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. What am I saying? I know he has a lot of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders.
Grownups think I’m smart because I use big words and wear thick glasses and they notice I’m not comfortable around girls. But I don’t think I am smarter than anyone else — like I’ve already said it’s just a hobby. I’ve tried playing some video games where you have to be really smart to get high scores and I don’t do well at all. Most the boys in my class are better than me. Actually, all of them.
But I have my onomatopoeia and my pandemonium and my preeminence and my imbroglio and my quintessential and moiety and lots more where those came from, so it’s OK.