Tuesday, March 11, 2008

‘Verb’atim

Inspired by the recent uh, ‘adventures’ of my blog twin Meleah, I am going to begin working a new verb (or possibly two) into the English language. Since ‘man area’ hasn’t really caught on to describe the male anatomy (as in ‘I just got kicked in the man area’), I am going to try to leave my mark on our language with my new verb. Are you ready? The proposed new verb is ‘Liz Lemon. Verb: to find oneself in an embarrassing situation socially, the act of committing a social faux pas, messing up in public.’

Here, let me use it in a sentence. ‘She pulled a Liz Lemon when she was doing that impersonation of her boss eating like a pig, not realizing that her boss was behind her the entire time.’ Or, ‘Meleah did a big Liz Lemon when she tried to get into someone else’s car thinking it was hers.’ If you have seen 30 Rock, you will understand why I came out with the verb tense of ‘Liz Lemon.’ This is the same character that once realized she was dating her cousin when she went to her date’s apartment only to discover a picture of her own female relative on display there. Of course the act of committing a ‘Liz Lemon’ is a female only verb, just like the ‘a’ versus the ‘o’ in Spanish, like ‘Hola’ and ‘Holo.’ At least, I think that’s how it works in Spanish. You know what I mean: ‘Seniorita’ and ‘Seniorito.’

What is the male version of pulling a Liz Lemon, you ask? Well, it’s a ‘Michael Scott’ as in ‘Michael pulled a Michael Scott at work when he told his female coworker that he could really tell she was losing weight from behind.’ Or, ‘Michael did a Michael Scott when he gave his boss his blog address and then started blogging at work about work.’ In fact, I pulled a Michael Scott again at work today when I told everyone that this job could be done in only 3 hours a day, which is why I can go to Disneyland every night. I pulled a Michael Scott last week when I turned on our little battery operated coffee stirrer BEFORE it was submerged in my coffee and it shot java all over a coworker and his desk. That folks, is the epitome of the Michael Scott and Liz Lemon.

Let’s be honest, we all commit faux pas socially every single day. Have you ever argued a point over zealously, only to find that you had the facts wrong to begin with? That’s a ‘Liz Lemon.’ Did you ever try to pay a lady you know a comment but it comes out all wrong? Yep, you’ve pulled a ‘Michael Scott.’ Ever put something on a female coworker’s greeting card, tell another coworker about it and then they tell you that it’s kind of rude and you get caught trying to change the card before she reads it? Totally a ‘Michael Scott.’ Congratulate someone on being pregnant and then they tell you they aren’t? OOOOOOO, big ‘Liz Lemon’ there.

See, isn’t that much more fun to say than ‘social faux pas’ or ‘socially unacceptable but possibly unavoidable mistake?’ I sure think so. From personal experience, I can most certainly tell you that being called a ‘Liz Lemon’ or ‘Michael Scott’ is much, much better than being called a ‘Jack Ass.’ Really, who wants to just ‘goof up’ when you can romanticize it by calling it a ‘Liz Lemon?’ It just flows so beautifully, kind of like the way that ‘cheesy goodness’ ‘that’s how I roll,’ ‘Obama’ and ‘The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile’ do, don’t you think? Ok, I admit that last one was a little gratuitous. Though there’s nothing wrong with a little self promotion now and then.

I don’t know how much success I’ll actually have trying to cement these new verbs into the American cultural and linguistic psyche, but I am sure going to try. So Merriam and Webster, you can expect a call from me any day now. I’ll be the guy who identifies himself as Henry Kissinger. You can’t turn away Henry Kissinger and since you never know when Henry Kissinger might need to contact you, you’ll be forced to take my call. After all, refusing to take a former Secretary of State’s call because you doubt it’s him is quite the Liz Lemon, you know, if it actually WAS the real Henry Kissinger and all...



****And to continue the Meleah theme, there will be a little article at her site here on Wednesday. You may or may not recognize the author who comitted himself to writing this for her months ago, like in 2007.****

27 comments:

meleah rebeccah said...

I would much rather be known for pulling a 'Liz Lemon' than for being called a 'Jack Ass'....

Oh wait? Thanks to you...I already DO that!!


"Of course the act of committing a ‘Liz Lemon’ is a female only verb, just like the ‘a’ versus the ‘o’ in Spanish, like ‘Hola’ and ‘Holo.’ At least, I think that’s how it works in Spanish. You know what I mean: ‘Seniorita’ and ‘Seniorito."

**Still making me laugh OUT loud.

You need to continue to regale us with your tales of the ‘Michael Scott' moves you make in the future!!

Great Post! xxoo

ps...thanks for the link-love.

Michael C said...

Oh, I will continue. It's like I've got 'Michael Scott' fertilizer all over me that makes me prone to Michael Scotting and Liz Lemoning all over the place. Wait, that just doesn't sound good. See, I pulled another Michael Scott!

How fitting that the person who have birth to the Liz Lemon is the first commenter!!
;-)

silverneurotic said...

Psh, I never have to worry about doing a Liz Lemon-I'm perfect! I will remember it for those around me though!

Michael C said...

Silver: Ok, after a statement like that, you now need to write an entire post about your non-Liz Lemonness so we know what it's like ;-)

brandy said...

I dig this. You know how much I enjoy making up words. OBAMA!, is still a growing verb around here...

I'm thinking I might shorten it up, just to "lemon". And then if people look confused, I will say "liz lemon" and then give them a look like they are ridiculous if they don't automatically understand what I'm saying.

I'm feeling like being a jerk right now. Can you tell?

Michael C said...

Bran: No jerkyness detected, but I gotta tell ya, I love the approach. In fact, I'm practicing that look right now so I can be prepared to use it tomorrow when I fully launch the 'Liz Lemon' is the new verb campaign!!

Just telling it like it is said...

Yeah I like it "liz lemon"
I think I do that all the time at work...
I just go in saying crazy things that people just don't know what to say...
Then I say to myself...
maybe I over stepped my boundies again..again

Michael C said...

Just Telling: Yep, that qualifies. Welcome to the club!!

Selma said...

I often do a Liz Lemon. I had to pick up one of my boss's clients from the airport the other day. His name was Felix Phoenix. He had been told to stand by the arrivals lounge. I asked a man standing there who looked like he worked at the airport if he had any messages for me. 'I have to pick up a guy named Felix Phoenix' I joked. 'Can't wait to see what he looks like. Imagine being called Felix Phoenix.' 'I am Felix Phoenix,' said the guy. Ooops. Definitely did a Liz on that one!

citizen of the world said...

Since I haven't seen it, never even heard of it, haven't heard those names - I'm guessing I won't be adopting those verbs. Um... nice try, though.

Patti said...

I love to make up words. I'm not able to remember any now, but there are many. I'll get back to you.
Maybe that alone is a Liz Lemon, now that I think of it.

Selma's "Liz" story is great.
Felix Phoenix would be a good pen name.

Sizzle said...

Why on earth is there a need for a battery operated coffee stirrer? I stirring it by hand too much effort?

Valerie said...

I definitely pull a Liz Lemon once daily.

And I'm in agreeance on the coffee stirrer. WTF?

chefmom said...

My HUsband is famous for making "Michael Scott" Comments. I have had my occasional "Liz Lemon" too. As for your battery operated coffe stirrer..I LOVE my aerolatte.
I "stir" my coffe into frothy goodness every morning. I make a mean cappucino with it...and I didn't even need to shut down for 3 hours to perfect it. ;)

Michael C said...

Selma: I think Felix Phoenix just became my new alias!!

Citizen: I'm not giving up on you adopting it ;-)

Patti: It is a great name!

Sizzle: It actually froths it up, you can see Chefmom's comment for a better explanation. I call it a stirrer, but it's made for a higher purpose ;-)

Valerie: Please see comment above about stirrer ;-)

Chefmom: I have a feeling your husband and I would get along very well and don't you love the coffee thing? I got mine at IKEA!

LL said...

Unfortunately as you've used it... pulling is actually the verb, Liz Lemon would be a modifier of the verb pulled.

But other than that... sounds good!

Michael C said...

LL: And that is why I was such a bad student. Thanks for letting me know though. I guess I should have gone with 'Liz Lemoned.' At least I'm hoping that's right...

And to think I did professional copy writing for 7 years ;-)

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Michael,
Not to be a spoilsport, but (alas, my daughter DOES call me Mr. Corrective, and she ain't referring to laxative powers) I must delicately but curmudgeonly report that most, if not all, of your examples display a noun use, not a verb use. Just sayin'; for the record. Cordially.

Pawlie Kokonuts, former editor and former English teacher

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

By the way, the bet (SF-LA) is on. BULLETIN: You win!

citizen of the world said...

Well, you just keep holding your breath then.

Odat said...

I think I may be the queen of lemonings....not to put a sour note on it all.

Peace

FRIGGA said...

Ahhh, now I get why I don't get the Liz Lemon - my fault for reading out of chronological order :-0

Open Grove Claudia said...

w'll so... if the male genitalia is a "man area" does that mean that you want only men in that area? I mean, I don't care but dude, shouldn't you tell your wife?

someGirl said...

Ignoring the Grammar Police roaming about, I just wanted to say that I Liz Lemon ALL OVER THE PLACE, sometimes even on purpose--for shits and giggles. (with the exception of the relative thing, eeew)

And may I offer an alternative to "man area"?? How about "nugget pouch"? As in "Don't shake that guys hand, he just grabbed his nugget pouch." Watch'a think?

Michael C said...

Somegirl: I'll try 'nugget pouch' out. Wait, dangit, that didn't come out right...

kat said...

I could accuse you of writing this piece solely for the excuse of having to write "Michael Scott and Liz Lemon" in a sentance but I won't do that.

I WILL tell you that I plan to incorporate the terms in my daily language. Daily why, you ask? Because I too commit Liz Lemon's and Michael Scott's on a daily basis.

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