"It's a rather blustery day."
"It's what?" I questioned my friend's word choice because it's not a word that I've ever included in my speech.
"I don't think I've ever heard that word before."
"Really? Blustery - as in windy or gusty?"
"I mean, it sounds familiar, but I don't think I've ever used it."
Perhaps I was stupid. But that can't be it. I did too well on the GRE to be considered deficient in my definitions.
Or perhaps it was regional word - kind of like ice chest, which until I moved to California, I had always known to only be called a cooler.
So maybe my friend knew the word blustery because she grew up with the blustery Santa Ana winds. Yes, I concluded, that must be it. Because I knew it wasn't that she was an avid reader with an advanced vocabulary.
In fact, she confessed to me that she hardly ever reads books. Her reasoning: "There are other things I'd rather do with my time than to risk reading a book that I may or may not like."
I was saddened by her words because it made me come to terms with the reality that the majority of people I know probably won't read my book - simply because they don't like to read. But hopefully they'll still buy it and at least use it as a decoration for their coffee table and a conversation piece in which they can claim that they know the writer.
But blustery? I still couldn't come to terms with how she knew the word and I didn't. So I decided to do some resarch to see if my regional theory might be true.
I asked some from Texas what comes to mind when they hear the word blustery.
"Oh, Winnie the Pooh!!!" my Texas friend exclaimed.
Now that explains it. Evidently I didn't get enough of Winnie the Pooh growing up. I quickly learned that there's an entire episode and Pooh song based on a blustery day.
I told my nonreading friend that I knew how she knew the word blustery and I didn't.
"Winnie the Pooh."
I bring this up because my boss's boss dropped by my cubicle today and asked me a question and in doing so he used a big word that I didn't know the meaning of - in fact, it was so foreign to my ears that by the end of our conversation I couldn't even remember what it was so that I could look it up.
Funny thing is, I still don't know, and may never know, if I answered his question correctly. I did my best to move away from his question, and simply say something that sounded intelligent. I think it worked. And if not, I might need to start sending my resume elsewhere for a job beyond this year.