Sunday, January 4, 2009

Preach it

I preached on Seminary Sunday (which is the day after Christmas when all the Real Pastors want to take off and rest a bit). I have a sarcastic little sister with a very low tolerance for academia (and polysyllabic words) so I let her edit (slash, dictate) my sermon.
Sister: well, okay, your sermon needs a lot of work but you can do it. Get to work. Just one thing - DON'T use the word propitiate!
me: i never used that word!!!
sis: okay, maybe so, but i felt like you might have, y'know, slipped one in without me knowing what you were saying.

She eventually approved enough to take full credit for singlehandedly writing my sermon. Her approval was not complete:
sis: You said propitiate!
me: I so totally did not.
sis: you did. What's a platitude? No one knows what a platitude is. You can't say platitude in a sermon.

Platitude. n.
A remark or statement made too often to be meaningful. A dull, trite, or commonplace statement.
Platitudinous, adj.
My complaint about Christmas cards
Platitudinosity, n.
In my social circle: a stock insult against Christian Kitsch (esp. landscape/bible verse wall calendars)

the propensity to use one fifteen-letter word rather than several shorter ones. Epidemic in grad schools. Apparently not contagious. Some sisters may have a natural immunity.


  1. what's kitch mean??? love, your now famously annoying little sister

  2. KitSch, noun
    art, objects, or design considered to be in very poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality. Appreciated in an ironic way by those who know better.

    I was going for the sentimentality, as in: these Christmas cards are pure kitsch!