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  • Brian Lehman

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

It's time to check and see what kind of profound nonsense wants out of my brain. Let's see...


Health officials and my doctor say we are starting into the annual flu season. Yippee! Which means it's also getting to be flu shot season, and that got me thinking about the word "shot". As you have probably figured out if you've been reading my blog posts, I seem to enjoy discussing the various oddities of words. I wonder if words in Chinese also present speakers and listeners with certain eccentricities? Anyway, I digress and I don't speak Chinese, so I'm sticking to words in English.


Back to the word shot. Why is the word for a small glass of liquor the same word used for sticking a needle into your skin and injecting something? Sometimes giving your self an injection is called shooting up. And then there's the fact that "shot" is also the same word for firing a gun of getting hit with a bullet. This is a strange language we speak. No wonder my brain gets too full of word stuff and needs the pressure released.


I also started thinking that a flu shot lasts a long longer than, say, a tequila shot. But what if tequila shots were seasonal like flu shots and you only needed one good shot of Patron and then you wouldn't need another until tequila season rolled around the next year? I imagine that would make tequila pretty damn expensive! (For the record, I like Patron just fine but Herradura is better in my opinion. Oh, and recently I just took "a shot in the dark" and bought a bottle of tequila from Costco of all places. It wasn't very expensive and it's really good! I was a little surprised and impressed.) Anyway, I digress again.


I do remember when I've gotten flu shots in the past they've told me I could feel a bit lethargic with a touch of malaise, which is pretty normal according to what I read. I've never heard a bartender tell me or anyone else that we might feel a big lethargic with a touch of malaise, but I think maybe that has happened to me after a tequila shot or two. That got me thinking about getting shot, like by a bullet. I've been shot at but never actually shot. I'm guessing after being shot one would feel real lethargic with a great big pile of malaise!


So, next week I'm going to get my annual flu shot. Afterword I might have a tequila shot. Yippee!

Brain Matter from Brian

  • Brian Lehman

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Welcome blog readers! Many of my posts are going to be random but strangely profound musings on the use of language and the oddities of English, and this is one of those posts. So what leaked out of my brain today concerns the word trip. You might wonder if that could actually be the topic of a blog post. The answer is Yup!


You can be on a very short trip as in, "He just left on a trip to the bookstore to pick up the copy of War Paint he ordered, but he'll be right back." Or it can be a much longer journey as in, "She just embarked on a three-week backpacking trip in Mongolia where she will likely be detained and interrogated by the authorities for possibly being a spy." So the word trip can describe a quick visit to the store or a longer trek that could end up involving prison time.


But you can also trip over something and bump your head, which could result in a concussion and causing you to behave strangely, like in you wanting to over analyze simple words. Or you could stumble and break your elbow, causing you to make a trip to the ER and spending the next seven hours surrounded by people who are coughing, sneezing and retching, exposing you to a variety of diseases including COVID-19.


People have also been known to go on a trip after ingesting certain drugs or maybe mushrooms. Ironically, in that kind of trip you don't necessarily physically travel anywhere. You could also trip a switch, which could be turning in on, as in "The burglar tripped the alarm when he broke the window." Or it could be turning something off, as in "Plugging in the electric blanket to keep his pet alpaca warm tripped the circuit breaker and everything went dark."


It's even possible to trip someone up with a difficult or unexpected question. For instance, if one of your three kids asks you, "Which one of us is your favorite?" Or even worse, "What is the capital of Mongolia?"


So, I assume this is likely the most information your brain has ever bothered to take in all at once about the word trip. i think you would agree that the complexity of such a seemingly simple concept is kind of trippy.


Brain Matter from Brian


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