Friday, February 28, 2014

The Nasty Word

I love words, nearly all of them. They're so useful and sometimes they just convey exactly the right thing. In Psalm 19:14 it says, "Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." I find that so confirming that words are tangible things that have tremendous power. So much power, in fact, that David believed they can actually displease God. Wow.

I read something today and the word nasty came to mind and kind of stopped me in my tracks. It was just so fitting in that instance. "That's just nasty." I looked it up and was surprised by the enormous range of the word. It covers just about everything you can imagine. Yes, yes, yes, I know adjectives are nasty creatures and writers are supposed to avoid them like the plague. But this word is just awesome.

nas·ty adjective \ˈnas-tē\
: very unpleasant to see, smell, taste, etc.
: indecent and offensive
: unpleasant and unkind

Full Definition of NASTY

1    a:  disgustingly filthy, b :  physically repugnant
2      :  indecent, obscene
3      :  mean, tawdry
4    a:  extremely hazardous or harmful
     b:  causing severe pain or suffering
     c:  sharply unpleasant :  disagreeable
5   a:  difficult to understand or deal with
     b:  psychologically unsettling :  trying
6     :  lacking in courtesy or sportsmanship
     (From Merrium-Webster - Online)

Think about it. It has a zillion uses! 

Dirty underwear: nasty. Dirty socks that have lain in a locker for two weeks: nasty. The neighbor's cat brought you a rodent: nasty. The customers who shop with the working girl on Maple and Vine: nasty. The leak at Chernobyl: nasty. The burn I got taking a heated pad out of the microwave: nasty. The leftover lasagna you forgot to put away last night: nasty. The day old oatmeal you left in the bowl when you rushed off to work: nasty. The fresh oatmeal in your bowl: nasty. The way the ground looks from the roof: nasty. The rude woman in the billing office when I pointed out her mistake: nasty.

So, nasty is a very cool word that covers a plethora of emotions and opinions. I think it rolls off the tongue rather satisfactorily, too. It takes your whole face to say it. I mean, you crinkle your nose, your brows draw together, and you raise your upper lip just slightly and utter the perfect word. "That's nasty."

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