September 20, 2014

Selling Paint to a Poet -- Jocelyn Faire

Purple proclamation, Angel's Kiss, Sunshine Day, Starry Night, Little Boy Blue, Himalaya Sky, Plum Preserve, Petunia Trail, Electricity, Periwinkle, Velvet Robe, Surf's Surprise, Sailing into the Horizon ... Fifty Shades of Blue.

The Home Hardware paint man barely raised an eyebrow when I said that I sometimes chose my paint colour because of the name. His fingers tapped when I asked him what the sale sign meant ... the Bold Take 40% Off was past due, but the sign and cans were still in the centre aisle. Premier paint, premier names, Yes, he would honour the sign's price. And then my suspicions are aroused. "Why is this paint on sale? Is it a lower quality?"

"No," he says with a shrug, "people weren't painting that much in August, too nice, we sold deck and exterior paint in summer."

Bargain-- bar·gain ˈbärgən/noun-noun: bargain; plural noun: bargains: an agreement between two or more parties as to what each party will do for the other. A thing bought or offered for sale more cheaply than is usual or expected.
I am wary of words that pitch a bargain, and at the same time a sucker for them. Drawn in by words, disappointed when they fail to deliver, empty flowery rhetoric.

Words, words, words, the essence of writing, and yet the combinations of letters, consonants can be magical or repulsive, beauty or beast, rich or poor .... salt or salve to a wounded soul. Poetry intrigues me because of its density of words. Poems do not spoon feed me, I have to think about the meaning ... although at times I give up, if the meaning is too hidden.

One of my favourite back to school bargains for new words is the on-line dictionary Word of the Day. It's free, and I just signed up this month. My time is valuable and I detest signing up to be inundated with ads.

So far, Word of the Day from, has lived up to its promise, every day an intriguing word enters my inbox, alongside four ever-changing word challenge links, if you want to eat words for breakfast. (Although Ellen DeGeneres' tear-streaked face has been bobbling in the side ad bar on several word days, and I wonder what she has done to tick off Cover Girl. Also catching my eye is the 57 year old mom that is pulling off a face mask to reveal a 35 year old face—you ignore the ads after a while.)

I have used words from the daily for the 3-word challenge, and being wordy, I added a few.

From word of the day—“geep” a cross between goat and sheep ... So, scripturally are these the sitting on the fence people?

Today my eye was drawn to the link 5 Fun Ways to Say Boring:

Ennui (Ahn-wee) not all boredom is created equal: some of it is fleeting or circumstantial, and some of it teeters on existential crisis ... derived from the French verb enuier meaning “to annoy.”
Prosaic (Is that what prompted Prozak?)
Platitudinous (I fear this is often mistaken for wisdom in the churches?) 

I had not heard of ennui, I feel the need for a slight French accent to say that word. Insipid Ivory is a paint colour I would not choose, perhaps Bromidic barn red, or Prosaic purple.

Words are the paint we use to colour our canvas. I wish you Happy Painting.

When Jesus was asked why he told stories, he said ...I tell stories to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. Matt 13: 12/13 The Message

Jocelyn also blogs at Who Is Talking. Her book Who is Talking out of My Head, Grief as an out of Body Experience, is available on and Friesenpress.


  1. Too funny, Jocelyn. I had to copy and paste your 5 ways to say 'boring' on my FB page. (I linked to the blog post, of course.)

    I too have seen poor Ellen and her battle with Cover Girl (for over a year now, I think, Has anyone ever opened that ad???)


  2. What a lovely exposition of logophilia! From another logophile, please take this as a compliment. Because my 2nd year university French course was on philosophy and literature in French, I had previously learned the word "ennui," and you are right about needing the French accent.

    I also needed patience to stave off ennui during my reading of sentences superfluous with unfamiliar vocabulary and sentences with colons and semi-colons galore. Sigh.

    This is beside the point for sure, but I want to tell you I enjoyed your tongue-in-cheek humour, your clever use of non-prosaic words, and your challenge for us to dab our paintbrushes in a rainbow-like palette of words as we paint our canvases. Thanks!

  3. yay! this was such a fun post!

  4. Haha! This made me laugh...and even inspired me to grow in my vocabulary! Thanks Jocelyn

  5. Thanks all for your comments. We might need to check on Ellen's cover girl escapades? Although it would likely fall in the "ennui" category.

  6. You've given me some new words for my vocabulary. Thanks.


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