In my dream last night I was introduced to a new term: looes, for a certain kind of hair selfie. It’s an anagram of e-solo, of course, which makes sense for “selfie” – if you’re the kind of person who dreams in anagrams. It was in connection with Justin Bieber (there’s an anagram for “watt”…) and his apparent penchant for selfies about his hair. Whether or not he does, I’ve no idea.
But then my subconscious former English teacher stepped in and cleared its metaphorical throat. First it took down one of the copies of the Compact OED from the shelf (what, you don’t have more than one? Pity.) It looked up “looes” and said there was no mention of it; no surprise there. But then it grabbed the full OED (which I no longer have… sigh) and found an obscure reference in the works of Mallory and one in Pope. Of course it did!
And then the geographical part of my subconscious pointed out that clearly I was thinking of “loess”, a form of sedimentary rock formed from airborne micro-particles. Very fine, those particles, apparently like Mr Bieber’s hair. What, asks Subconscious English Teacher, the hell do you know about Mr Bieber’s hair? Geographer-subconscious shrugs, mutters something about Instagram, and wanders off to put sandals on over its socks.
At this point, Sir Sh*ts-A-Lot, one of my catsitting victims, begins bazooka-barfing on my shoes in the real world and my anagrammatic cryptic-clues dream draws to a merciful conclusion.
Why can’t I just dream about running uphill or being naked in front of the boardroom like a normal person?
While there are aspects to Mr. Penn Jillette of which I do not approve, one of those of which I do is his habit of reading from the complete, unabridged OED. He has a full set that he keeps on a lectern and peruses regularly.
Other than loose oleos, the two things I got from that are instagram and bazooka-barfing.
And something about Justin Bieber, which I will disregard out of respect for you.
In grad school I used to read the OED regularly. Possibly to avoid doing actual thesis work 😀 But since my thesis was philological, it still worked out fine. And I think Instagram is maybe more sketchy even than the Bieb 😉