The 4 Year Old Chronicles (Story #21)
“Mommy, what does bombastic mean?” I asked when I was 4.
“Where did you learn it?”she said, using circumlocution to hide the fact that she didn’t know what it meant.
“What does it meean?”
“Go out and play.”
I wanted to know what it meant, so I went to my friend Nicki. She was 7 years old.
“You look like you stuck your head in a croc’s mouth. What’s wrong?”she said, using a colloquial expression.
“What does bombastic mean?”
Now, Nicki was normally quite diffuse. I didn’t understand what was so strange about this word. But I was getting nowhere, so I went to ask my parrot. Yes,my parrot. I was a 4 year old all right?
“What does bombastic mean?
“Pompous! Awk! Pompous! Awk!”
“Bad parrot!”(4 year old)
“Awk! Unfair! Your idea of good and bad is flawed! Awk! I digress! Pompous! Awk!”
Obviously, the parrot was in an aggressive mood. So I went to ask my dad. My dad was a professor. He used eloquence to impress students because of his knowledge of the subject…namely words. I ran right to his office and didn’t stop to think. I didn’t know how garrulous he could be.
“Daddy, what does bombastic mean?”
“I’m bu-bombastic? Well,it’s not known, but we think we can trace it to the latin roots of-”
I had to run away mid-latin root. My dad was definitely voluble. But my grandma might understand.
“What does bombastic mean, grandma?”
“Well, when I was your age, I didn’t know what rhetorical meant..”
Oh no. She was going to prattle on about when she was a kid. And those stories were usually very verbose. Then she was going to rant about how hot dogs were 5 cents. And finally ramble about how everything was better then. I didn’t want to be around for that.I dashed to the table and stared at what they called the dict-ion-ary. Hmm..
“Bomb-ast-ic. Pompous,loquacious. Huh.”
Well, I was done with that word. But then I glimpsed another word. Grandiloquent.”Mommy..”