19 February 2008

All this time spent on atheism blogging is useful for something

I think that yesterday, for the first time, all this time I’ve spent reading and participating in the atheism/culture wars blogosphere has paid off in a tangible way.

Last night, me, my wife, and a bunch of friends were gathered at another friend's house playing Wii and Cranium. The atheism stuff didn’t help the Wii playing in any way whatsoever (side note: this was my first time on a Wii and my arms are killing me! I mean, I'm in decent shape but, dude! serious lactic acid build-up. Stupid Rayman); however, it may have singlehandedly won my team the Cranium game1. We were going for the final question which was to be a word question. I was selected because they guessed I was the best speller on the team (I believe my teammates just didn't want to spell). The other team read the question:

Them: “Spell the following word: ? ... {whisper to teammate} I don’t know this... Me neither. Do you? No. Umm, should we just try to sound it out? {speaks back to us} We don’t know this word, do you? {flashes it to one of my teammates who won’t be answering the question. She shakes her head “no”} Ok, no? I guess I should just try to say it {grumbles} ... here it goes: PRAW – SEE – LIE – TIZE.”

Me: “{hurriedly cutting him off} Oh, I know that word. Proselytize. It means to try to convert someone to your belief or viewpoint, usually regarding religion.”

Everyone but me: “Wha?! How does he know that? I’ve never heard of that before in my life.”

Them: “{grumbles} Now we’ve lost.”

Me: “Not so fast. I always get the ‘e’ and the ‘y’ mixed up. (here I demonstrate that I spend so much time on this stuff that I have a regular misspelling of an infrequently used word). {concentrates so as to not embarrass myself} P-R-O-S-{pause}E-L-Y-T-I-Z-E. {looks up hopefully}2

Them: “Crap.”

My Team: “Woohoo!”

1 A little boasting on my part. We were actually far, far ahead. We could have screwed up our next 10 chances at the final question and still won.

2 To be honest, my spelling is only so-so these days (I have been seduced by spellcheckers) and I had never seen the word ‘proselytize’ until about two years ago on some atheist blog.

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5 Comments:

At February 20, 2008 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuel Skinner
Reminds me of Civ 2. Thanks to the WW2 Scenario I know the location of all the cities in Europe. Unfortunately my "history" is a little bizarre- apparently the allies didn't conquer Spain and use it as the industrial base to send tanks against the USSR after taking down the Axis by invading through Denmark and "liberating" France.

 
At February 20, 2008 3:15 PM, Blogger TheBrummell said...

So, wait, your wife and the other people who may have attended an Alpha course, had never heard of the word "proselytize"?

Zug?

 
At February 20, 2008 4:16 PM, Blogger King Aardvark said...

They just do it. They don't need to know the name of it. I think they merely call it "spreading the word" or somesuch. Remember, happy ephemisms, not scary technical language.

 
At February 22, 2008 11:53 AM, Blogger Berlzebub said...

I do believe it's "euphemisms". (Sorry, but you wouldn't save me from my wife.)

I have the same issue with spelling it, even though I've been hearing that word as long as I can remember. The KJV was the most common translation where I grew up, and it seemed like any word (or derivative of that word) had to be inserted into a sentence at least once a week by all believers.

Which sometimes made my classes in high school very interesting. One classmate tried to steer the discussion to "leviathan" when we were talking about sea creatures (you know, the real ones) during science class.

 
At February 22, 2008 3:08 PM, Blogger King Aardvark said...

Whoops. Damn lousy typing skillz.

I don't even remember what translation we used in my highschool. Certainly wasn't KJV. Certainly more and more Christians are switching to easier to read NIV, NLT etc, which don't tend to use big words like proselytize.

'Leviathan' is a very cool word and I would use it if I could. In fact, a friend of mine in highschool wanted to cultivate that nickname for himself. Of course, it never works out when you try to nickname yourself - nicknames have to be earned. Also, the fact that he was a little asian guy who wasn't a particularly good swimmer kind of put a damper on it as well.

 

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