Fellow MeFite and undeclared internet lingo pope Languagehat semi-recently posted on an internet-only coinage, the undeclaimed and unpunctuated use of the word


on a line by itself in comment threads. Generally speaking, the usage connotes an unemotive but nonplussed response to novel stimuli. Something like your grandmother processing the concept of trepanation, or your parents’ response to your announcement of your impending polyamorous marriage.

Looking over my email and blog posts, it’s clear that I have now been a homeowner for three years. My emotional response to this has only ever been at best



It remains so. I seem to be less actively angry about it, something which I put down to my being now three years closer to the end of my life.

Honestly, how do you people DO it? Engaging in casual conversation at social gatherings, I casually ask my fellow homeowners, for example, “Do you suddenly sit up in the dark watches, drenched in cold sweat, certain that a flamethrowing tank approaches your doors due to your inattentive mortgage payments?”

Apparently they don’t. My whole life, well-meaning and deeply ignorant fools have repeatedly told me that I am not like other people, that I am different, and (I especially loathe the ignorant selfish inaccuracy of this part) that they love me for that. It seems that this observation, which I have hated as long as i have heard it, is in fact true. I am different.

Anyway, three years in, I hate this as much as I did on day one. With luck, that ulcer will just eat me away from the inside and I will never even know I’m dead. Happy Halloween, kids! Come by our house and I swear, I will scare you so badly you will never leave home again.

And stay off my lawn!