Instead, it's about trying to make an acronym. Horyon asked me to come up with an acronym for her school, Dongsung High School. These were the best I could do (with my alternates in parentheses):
N ever (Neat)
G ive up (Great/Giving)
U nstoppable (Ultimate)
U nstoppable (Ultimate)
Go on. Think about it. Adjectives starting with N that mean good things.
You probably came up with one that means well organized, or not sloppy. Isn't that neat? The other is such a hazy word that it is barely a step up from "good" itself, the fall-back for when we really don't have a sincere compliment ready to go. It's right there in one of my favorite lyrics from the musical Into The Woods: (the song is "Last Midnight")
You're so nice.
You're not good,
you're not bad,
you're just nice.
I'm not good,
I'm not nice,
I'm just right.
|"You're not good, you're not bad, you're just the chorus. Now stay back there while I sing."|
Anyway, I have been guilty in the past of overusing the word "nice". When I visited England for Andy and Sarah's wedding I was so overwhelmed by how good the beer tasted that I gave up trying to find new adjectives, and settled for "nice." Oh, frivolous youth. If I knew then what I know now I'd know more in the new now than I now know in this now. I think.
Back to my assignment: I found that the other letters were relatively easy. "O" was a bit tough, but not as bad as having two "N"s to deal with. I mean, look at the words that come to mind:
Nay. (which actually means "okay" in Korean, so double confusion)
And a host of "non-" words, from nonentity to nonpareil. Which on the one hand means unrivaled, but on the other means the little round chocolate candies with sprinkles on top. Those used to be my favorites at weddings and church dinners. An excess of chocolate colors, though almost never brown, brightly colored sprinkles that now suggest to me an excess of artificial coloring, and minimal parental supervision, allowing the consumption of a no doubt unhealthy excess of the tasty little circles. They were like the secret love child of a Hershey's Kiss and a bag of Skittles. I couldn't take a chance that my wife's school would forever be associated with this!
|Our school is sweet and diverse, but it melts in the summer.|
I know. I know. The fault very likely lies more within my imagination than with the word itself.
I tried in vain to flip through my Kindle dictionary (the first time I have wished for a paper book in some time, and I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't had a paper dictionary in my home since we moved back to Korea in 2011!). Then I tried browsing through online dictionaries. They are mostly not conducive to browsing. though I did eventually find a browsable dictionary (don't get mad, bro, but it's Your Dictionary!). Of course, I had already completed my assignment, but by now you can tell that I was not ready to let go of this one. So I hit the Ns.
I kept finding words that were either negative or nonsensical. Of course, positive was nonnegotiable. I could have gone with Nonogonal, but I'm not convinced that their school actually has nine sides.
|I have nine sides, and it ain't so bad!|
Which, in case you were wondering, is zero. I am not getting paid for this, other than appreciation from my wife, which is simultaneously priceless and lacking purchasing power.
I would have gone with Nether, but I didn't want to let them down. I could have used Nautiloid, but didn't want to be shellfish. In hindsight, I should have used Ninja: they never would have seen that coming.
I thought about Newtonian, but quickly realized that I knew exactly what reaction I would get. I considered Neighborly, but that reminded me that Fred Rogers in no longer with us. I changed my shoes, put on a cardigan, and had a good cry. (Seriously, don't Google the man unless you have time for a little mourning, though you will come out the other side feeling uplifted.)
They are too big for Nano, too small for National, too cool for Nervous, and too awake for Narcoleptic.
Nauseous? Don't make me sick.
Nihilistic? Fine, let's throw the whole thing out.
Noteworthy? Hmm... let me write that down.
Nobody? Well, your Nobody called today. She hung up when I asked her name.
Noisy? She wanted positive, not accurate.
You can see my dilemma. I actually found a useful site that collects positive personality traits. I highly recommend it if you are having trouble describing someone. I sent this link to Horyon along with my suggestion, and she ended up using that resource to go in a completely different direction.
Good for her, and for Dongsung High School. May they Never Need 'Nother Nagging acronym!
For me it was a fun exercise. It exposed me to some fun words, and cemented "Nonesuch" into my vocabulary. It means a person who is regarded as perfect. I know, I know, how could this word not have entered my vocabulary before this time?
I'll let you know the next time Horyon gives me homework. She will no doubt be thrilled to see how much work I put into it. And this post.