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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Keeping Abreast of an Old Friend’s Problem

Dragging you a little closer to lunacy with each sentence read…

Is it just me, or has ‘tit’ sort of gotten the shaft?

(Now, if a sentence with ‘tit’ and ‘shaft’ doesn’t get me at the top of a few web searches, then I don’t know what the hell will. Hmmm. “Doggy dildo donkey humpers!” Best to be sure about these things…)

Well, this one is off to a good start. :/

But (semi-)seriously, I feel bad for tit, I really do. I mean, put yourself in tit’s place.

(I know, if you could do that, you’d never leave the house. Moving on.)

Anyway, there you are (tit, that is), born screaming and squiggling into Word Land, with the whole world in front of you. You’re just a baby — a period, maybe, or a caret — and you can grow up to be anything you want.

“Trust me. I carried three G’s around Vegas for a week, and no one would tit me. It just doesn’t happen.”

(Well, that’s not entirely true, of course. As we all know, there are four basic stages of word development, and some are mutually exclusive. All little wordlings start out as neuter words, with no reproductive capabilities. Most come into the world as some kind of punctuation, though you’ll occasionally see a whole letter formed at wordbirth.

(The curviest letters are obviously the most painful and problematic to squeeze out, which is where the origin of the term ‘C section‘ really comes from.)

Some words grow up neuter and stay that way, never developing sexual organs or bothering with children at all.

(Examples of words unable to reproduce include ‘pus’, ‘crapshack’, and ‘Alabama’.)

Others develop into male words and female words, which can then reproduce to create the new words that get added to the language from time to time (like ‘blog’, or ‘e-commerce’, or ‘Britneylicious’). The male words get that way by developing ‘i’s, of course.

(Think ‘penis’… but not for too long. If you think it more than twice, you’re just playing with it.)

Similarly, as you might expect, the female words all have one or more ‘o’s (like ‘hooters’, for instance). Finally, there’s the tweener words, which have both types of organs, and can, as they say, ‘self-pollinate’.

(Which itself is an example of a tweener, of course. Other examples include ‘hermaphrodite’, ‘Californians’, and ‘Richard Simmons’.)

Not much is known about the mating habits of words, as they prefer to bump serifs in private. All that linguisexologists can really tell us is that there’s some exchange of material between the words, most likely the dot above the male’s ‘i’ (hence, ‘dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s’ has a much different connotation for these little guys), and then a short time later, a new baby word comes careening out of the female’s ‘o’. It’s beautiful. Really. I asked around. And not so different from us, when you think about it. Just like people, the female’s preoccupation during sex is usually with her big ‘O’, while the male is focused solely on ‘I, I, I’.)

Okay, where was I? Oh, tit. Of course. How could I forget?

So, here’s tit, fresh-faced and rarin’ to go, ready to make a name for himself. Things are fine for a while; tit grows along with the other words, maybe getting his ‘i’, and then a ‘t’ to make ‘it’, and then adding on a ‘t’. Now he’s ‘tit’, and that’s just peachy. He’s still a kid, in school learning phonetics and competing in spelling bees. Life is good, and he makes sure to eat all of his tildes and umlauts, so he’ll grow up big and strong. But he doesn’t grow — all of his friends keep adding letters, and sprouting syllables, maybe even developing alternate pronunciations, while tit is left behind. ‘Look, there goes that runty little tit,’ the other words jeer. Or, ‘C’mon, at least add a ‘w’; at least then you’ll be a twit!’ Worst of all, tit is constantly harassed by the four-letter words. They’re small little pipsqueaks, too, but they’re bigger than tit, and they put him through hell and make him feel like shit.

(Coincidentally, ‘hell’ and ‘shit’ are the worst offenders, though there are a host of others — four-letter words can be so hurtful.)

In the worst of times, tit considers radical measures — running away, perhaps, or hyphenating onto another word, even (gasp!) augmentation surgery. But in the end, tit decides it’s wrong to become somehow unnatural, and anyway, there isn’t really room in tit for a ‘C’ or ‘D’ or anything, so tit suffers on in silence.

So tit’s not having a very good time of things, and doesn’t get to play much with anyone else during the formative years.

(He’s thinking of writing a book, by the way — ‘Growing Up Tit’, which will expose the trauma of those troubled and awkward times.)

But through it all, tit does have one friend. Another word in a similar position, who can well understand tit’s trials and tribulations. It doesn’t hurt that this is a close relative to tit, who’s been there from the very beginning, to share the good times as well as the bad. That word, tit’s companion and confidant, is, of course, ‘tat’. Tit and tat spend most of their childhood together, becoming inseparably linked, and often talked about in the same breath. Around the schoolyard, it’s always ‘tit and tat this’, ‘tit and tat that’, and ‘hey, let’s go give tit and tat their daily swirlies now’. Not a happy existence, but at least tit and tat have each other, and no one could tear them apart.

But in the end, even tat moved on, leaving a lonely tit behind. You see, once new words develop all their letters and learn all about how to spell and pronounce themselves and others, there’s still one more hurdle to making it to graduation in word school. To make it out of Word Land, the elder scholars and professors must be able to find meanings for a word. Not just any old jumble of letters can pass through the hallowed arches of Webster U. and make it into the dictionary, and many fail to meet the mark.

(Truth be told, even tit has it better than these poor souls, left in Word Land to eke out a meager existence. Fully grown, but not quite complete and with no real meaning, the ‘grunchy’s and ‘flubbo’s and ‘porkjuice’s wander the landscape, struggling to survive. Their only hope of redemption is that someone might choose them for a proper name of some kind — assign a car, or a company, or a child to them. It’s not a dictionary entry, but at least it gets them ‘out there’, into the world of blue skies and ketchup packets and digital parking meters. The near-words left behind curse their luck ever more vehemently, praying that one day they’ll get the call and become the next ‘Yugo’ or ‘Enron’, or the shining hope for all half-words, ‘Krzyzewski’ (once voted by his junior class as the ‘Word Most Likely to Eat from Dumpsters for the Rest of Eternity’). It’s not much to hope for, but it’s all that they have.)

Anyway, back to our hero, tit.

So, the moment of truth finally comes, and tit is brought before the Council of Meaning, Sucommittee on Definition Assignment, Chairword Meme presiding. Tit’s not having a good day. Just that morning, hell and fart were tormenting him, playing keep-away with his dot. He didn’t have time to straighten the crosses on his t’s, and his i is listing badly to the left. He’s nervous, and flustered, and the interview doesn’t go well. Frankly, the Council probably shouldn’t have assigned tit any meaning at all, but they knew about his troubles, and decided to take pity on him. Of course, they couldn’t bring themselves to give him a truly inspiring or majestic meaning, but they got him out the door and gave him a chance. From the official Webster University transcript, here’s what the Council came up with for tit:


1. Vulgar slang. A woman’s breast.

2. A teat.

3. A titmouse.

So, essentially, a boob or a cow boob or an undersized rat. Not a lot to work with. Still, tit was happy to be graduating, and thought that he might luck into some more meanings down the road.

(Extra meanings are sometimes assigned by the Council of Meaning (Subcommittee on Definition Additions, Co-Chairwords Euphemism and Entendre presiding). Additional meanings can be a mixed blessing, however — in rare cases, the Council decides that a word has performed above and beyond the call of dictionary, and is awarded with a new, honorary connotation that represents an upgrade from previous meanings (like ‘chill’, or ‘fly’, or ‘nugget’).

Far more often, though, additional meanings are assigned to accomodate the nearly insatiable tendency of people to insult each other, or invent new terminology for their genitalia, or often both at once (as in ‘cheesehead’, ‘peter’, and, as it happens, ‘nugget’. Oh, and ‘Fred Durst’.).

Anyway, tit makes it through graduation, and waits for tat to get back from the interview. Well. As it turns out, tat’s a star. The Committee is so enamored with tat that they assign all kinds of definitions — tat gets to mean a ‘pony’, and a ‘gunny cloth’, and ‘cheap and vulgar’. Not award-winning stuff, certainly, but not bad for a pissant three-letterer, nonetheless. But that’s not the kicker. No, the real shocker — at least to tit — is that tat also gets verbed, right out of the gate. Tat’s not only a thing, but it’s also doing something, namely ‘to make lacework’, or ‘to do tatting’. It’s a spectacular honor, of course — most noun words don’t get verbed right away; it usually takes years, if not centuries, for these things to happen. (Just ask ‘bed’, or ‘sack’, or even ‘verb’ itself.) So immediately tit gets jealous; he’s stuck with his crappy definitions, and no verbing, and he’s pissed. Soon after graduation, tit and tat get into a huge argument about the whole thing, and they stop speaking to each other. And frankly, tit’s never quite been the same since.

So that’s the story of tit, and it’s not a happy one. These days, tit is relegated to a lonely life, mentioned often but rarely with others, and almost never in good company. Mostly, tit hangs around with ass, but the less said about ass, the better. Saddest of all, tit and tat are now almost total strangers, and when they do mingle, it usually ends badly. ‘Trading tit for tat’ is especially problematic, as it reminds tit of the gap between them, and all that tat is that tit wants to be.

(Most of all, naturally, tit wants to be verbed, but it’s never happened. So while you can tat something, and be a tatter, and even be tatted, you sadly cannot tit someone, nor can you be a titter, and you certainly cannot be titted. Trust me. I carried three G’s around Vegas for a week, and no one would tit me. It just doesn’t happen.)

Anyway, I just thought someone should know. Maybe we can start a tit trust fund or something, or do a telethon, something to help tit out. I don’t know. But in the meantime, do try and keep tit in your thoughts. Pray for tit, if you think that sort of thing helps. And if you see tit — you know, out there — be nice. Say hello, maybe give tit a big hug, just to let tit know that you care. Tit’s done a lot for us, and I for one think it’s time to give just a little bit back.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Keeping Abreast of an Old Friend’s Problem”

  1. akaky says:

    So are you done trying to pump up your stats by appealing all the mammophiliacs out there to arrive on your digital doorstep?

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