One of my favorite things about academia is its funnel cakes. Doesn’t academia sound like a highly intelligent theme park or something. A place where one can win overstuffed teddy bear prizes for correct grammar or for quick computation of random mathematical theorems. Words like academia are the reason I enjoy higher education. Truthfully, I enjoy the jargon, the language found in privileged academic settings. I love how professors would make any word of choice a verb by adding the the suffix, “-ize.” While in class, the newly constructed word clarified and illuminated whatever topic was discussed. My favorite example comes from an Africana Studies class in which the professor taught about the “niggerization” of the Negro. Wait, what? I only learned of the word’s secret when I tried to use said word in a paper and Microsoft Word’s vocabulary police, the squiggly red line
patrol, appeared quickly.
“I’m not happy right now, though things are going well,” I hesitatingly whisper into the receiver, embarrassed at finding fault with a situation that overall is going well. “Something isn’t right though; I cannot place my hand on it, but I can feel it,” I continue. After listening to my friend empathize with me by sharing a similar feeling, I respond, “You’re right. I do need to reassess my goals.” A few minutes later, “I have to find a way to rekindle my desire.” Towards the end of the conversation, “I do have to recommit myself.”
When I hung up the phone, I noticed that many of my verbs used started with the prefix, “re.” I recognized that I needed to “re-ize” myself to get out of this current funk in which I am mired. Yes, I know “re-ize” is not a word (the squiggly red line is all under it), but like those Professor created words, it adds clarity to my situation.