Did you have air-conditioning when you were a kid? Or, did you endure those hot summer nights when the window fan churned the hot air around? Did you get up in the middle of the night and wash your hands and face to cool off? Get a drink from those brightly colored aluminum cups that were in the bathroom? I almost forgot about those nights, but our a/c unit in the bedroom gave up the ghost tonight.
We DO have fans. It’s not super hot tonight. I don’t have to go to work and look perky in case I don’t sleep well. I can’t be a big complainatrix.
Ahem. I have to tell you. I’m just busting to tell you that if you add -trix at the end of the word, it denotes the “feminine” version of the better known word. Don’t think I’m smart and that I just know that. I read it today in a book called, The Unexpected Evolution of Language by Justin Cord Hayes.
If you are thinking where the heck would I get a book like that, let me tell you. Barnes & Noble, Cherry Hill. I bought it for myself just before I retired, figuring I’d have time to read it. Apparently, I do. Here are a few examples: janitrix, oratrix, victrix. A female janitor, a female orator and a female victor. It’s the kind of book that you dip into, read a page or two and then put it down for a few days. Or, if you’re not into words, you might put it down forever. It’s a part of my summer reading!
Frankly, I do love words. When I was in Grade Three in John S. Read School, my grandmother sent me money for my birthday. Did I ask for a doll? No. A board game? No. A puff-sleeved pink dress? No. I asked for a dictionary. My mom and I set off for Lit Brothers department store in downtown Camden where they had a book section on the first floor.. I came home with a hardback Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary for Children and spent many happy hours with it curled on our maroon mohair (I think) sofa in North Camden.
It’s a little sad, though, that it’s hot in here. I got my hair cut today and the cute ‘do is melting. But, I can get out The Unexpected Evolution of Language and forget about the heat. Then, I’ll wash my hands and face and get a drink of water from the bathroom!
Written by Marguerite Ferra who made up the word complainatrix!
Tomorrow we’ll get a new air-conditioner.