Msnowe's Blog

Them’s Fighting Words

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on December 8, 2009

m.snowe is really jazzed by the all the different words one can pull from their arsenal when describing a fight or argument. And some of them are so fun to say! And not only that, but, in m.snowe’s mind, they’ve almost got a little bit of onomatopoeia going on. Well … sort of. What m.snowe means is that when she hears about how someone got into a “scuffle,” she pictures a fight with two wiry young lads squeaking and squelching their shoes on a recently bleached linoleum kitchen floor, arms locked yet flailing in unison, making noises similar to the actual word–they’re “scuf–fling.” Each word’s pronunciation has always seemed to give a clue to the type of battle (ex. brawl–bawdy and drawn-out, like the emphasis on the long “awl” sound). Of course, these are all assumptions m.snowe has leaped to by her own accord, and don’t necessarily have anything to do with the word origins or actual exact meanings.

But wouldn’t it be nice if each term for a fight had definitions that really buzzed like bees? Like a rules of engagement for correct verb/noun use? m.snowe wants people who are about to fight to shake hands, stand back, and agree on a word for the fight they are about to have, as if word choice was equally as important as weapon choice (p.s. always opt for the cudgel). They both yell: “Fisticuffs!” and proceed to engage in some old-fashioned pugilism, just as the good lord intended, with their sleeves folded and pushed up halfway to their elbows, flapping in the wind as their arms spin around their bodies like fast-pitch softballers. Now we’re talking. m.snowe wants “grapplers” to make their hands look like claws and grab hold of each other’s shirts until one fighter overpowers the other, and lifts the weaker grappler off the ground with sheer force, and holds him or her there, as their tiny legs pump back and forth, trying to run on the air that separates them from the earth.  m.snowe wants a “row” to be rhythmic and charged, something that looks both improvised and choreographed all at once–oh, and it takes place on the bow of a ship, with the rocking of the boat dictating the fancy footwork that inevitably ensues, until somebody finally body slams the other, flattening them against the worn wooden planks, splinters in their back.

That’s all there is say about that. Skirmish!

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One Response

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  1. fictionadvocate said, on December 8, 2009 at 4:31 am

    Wow. That description of a “row” has got me all flushed.

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