laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 7 15:00:39 UTC 2009
At 10:14 PM -0400 4/6/09, Victor wrote:
>This picked off Facebook.
> "Are you *communicado* yet?"
>As far as I can tell, when "Communicado" is used, it is exclusively as
>an invented proper noun, e.g., a company or a product name, an on-line
>nickname, etc. This is the first time I've encountered it naked (in
>English) as an antonym of "incommunicado".
>But, as I keep repeating, I live a fairly sheltered life.
If you like "communicado", you'll love these others...
How I met my wife
published 25 July 1994 in _The New Yorker_
It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very
chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.
I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her
standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a
state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled,
and she moved in a gainly way.
I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones
about it since I was travelling cognito. Beknownst to me, the
hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so
it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even
though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be
peccable. Only toward and heard-of behavior would do.
Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might
cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances
that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona
grata or a sung hero were slim. I was, after all, something to
sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who
usually aroused bridled passion.
So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some
apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that
I could make heads and tails of.
I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado,
and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight
seen. Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I
felt capacitated-as if this were something I was great shakes at-and
forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told
number of times. So, after a terminable delay, I acted with
mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong
Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to
prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only
called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres,
trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even
bunk a few myths about myself.
She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savory
character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. "What a
perfect nomer," I said, advertently. The conversation became more
and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was
defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she
wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was committal. We left
the party together and have been together ever since. I have given
her my love, and she has requited it.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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