Wait For It… a blog by Andy Ross

Limited Vocabulary

Posted on October 5, 2011

Word Meaning

I’m sorry to say this, but it’s too late in life for me to learn what charcuterie means.

Please don’t try to define the word. There’s no room left in my brain for it. Believe me, people have tried to explain what charcuterie means before. It doesn’t stick.

All I know is that it has something to do with yuppie dinner parties and grocery stores that used to be banks. Or something like that. General fanciness maybe? If I had to guess, I would say charcuterie meant a place that serves high end hot chocolate. But, then again, something about the vowel sounds suggests pickles for some reason. That’s about as far as I can get before my memory starts throwing up defenses.

For example, last time I sat down to look up charcuterie on wikipedia, my brain was like, “Hey, before you do that, maybe you should double-check if you remember your online banking password.” So, I went to log in to my bank, and I could just barely remember my password. I think the implied threat from my subconscious was that if I learn one more unnecessary word definition, I’m going to lose an important memory. My bank password, for instance. Just for instance.

Listen, it’s a noble effort, you trying to teach me what charcuterie means. It is, and I love you for it. But, I just can’t. I’m sorry. “No room in the inn.” “I am stuffed.” “The straw that broke the camel’s back.” All that stuff.

I’m sure it would be great to go through life learning more and more words---having the world open up before you like the inside of a geode. Tiny nuances of meaning and thought coalescing to form an intricate, crystalline cultural landscape full of beauty and unmitigated understanding. But, did you see how many fancy words I just used? That’s all I’ve got in me. Believe me, if I tried to throw “charcuterie” in there somewhere, it would have fucked everything up.

Guys, we’re just going to have to come to terms with the idea that I can only handle a finite number of terms and ideas.

So, whatever new word you’re excited to tell me---inchoate, recondite, alacrity, onanisme---it would literally go in one ear and out the other. By the way, I’m a little hazy on what the word “literally” means. It’s the same as metaphorically, right?

You know, it doesn’t really matter at this point.