Saturday, September 18, 2010

A small, flaky token of dung

So the other night Zach and I were at a restaurant. I ordered delicious red potatoes as my side item and this little ordinary delight came with it.

While Zach was in the restroom I inspected this little hunk of butter and noticed the interesting name on the label: butter chip. Hmm. A butter chip? The word struck me. I never ever would have thought to call this piece/ slab/ slice/ hunk of butter all dressed up in shiny silver paper a "chip." Nothing about this object was chip-like to me. A chip is a sliver of potato that comes in a salty bag with a lots of others and loads of calories. A chip is a delightful little cone-shape of chocolate heaven. A chip is a fry that comes with fish, not a hunk of butter.

Curiosity of the actual definition consumed me and I looked it up immediately when I got home. Wow. Was I amazed and simultaneously horrified...

Chip (the noun)

: a small usually thin and flat piece (as of wood or stone) cut, struck, or flaked off
: a small piece of food or a small thin slice of food;especially : potato chip, french fry
: a small cone-shaped bit of food often used for baking : chocolate chips
4 : something small, worthless, or trivial
: one of the counters used as a token for money in poker and other games
: something valuable that can be used for advantage in negotiation or trade : a bargaining chip
7 : a piece of dried dung —usually used in combination : cowchip
8 : a flaw left after a chip has been broken off

I couldn't believe the various definitions for a single word. How can one word describe semi-sweet gloriousness, a plastic token, cow poop, AND a hunk of butter? Words. They are so messed up.  It's actually amazing really. You'd think there would be less words in the English language since one word has 8 different definitions. 

SO I promise my vocabulary word nerdiness is almost done... 
The moral of the story? Use adjectives when talking about chips or I just might think you like a small, flaky token of dung.

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