Stuck with a z and looking to make some big points and win the game right at the end, this little word has saved my butt in a tight game of Scrabble more than once. If you're a word geek like me, you get me on this one. I know you do.
But I don't know what else to say about the word.
However, if I take it as a springboard of word-geekery...
Let me tell you what happened at the bar today. A commercial for the game show The Chase came on. For obvious reasons, there are a lot of Olympic references cropping up on TV and in social media, so the notion that the game show used the same in the commercial didn't surprise me. The way they did it, though, got the patrons' attention. The ad said something like:
"If you just jaculated, what Olympic sport would you have just participated in?"
All around the bar, men's heads turned toward the TV and more than one mumbled or asked aloud, "What did they just say?"
I repeated the question. They made some smart-ass replies, then started speculating what it was. As the resident author, they eventually asked me what I thought. I said, "I dunno but if I had to guess, I'd say javelin throwing."
They thought that was ridiculous.
My answer, I explained, was based on reasoning. I told them that the word they thought had been said was similar, only it started with an 'E'. In their word, a substance was ejected. In the javelin throw, a javelin is sent away from yourself with effort.
They still thought I was ridiculous. So I whipped out the trusty smart phone, accessed the dictionary app and checked. I did a little victory dance when I found I was right.
Undaunted, they still mumbled about this word and how the use of it at another, perhaps seedy bar filled with rough and tough patrons, would get THEM ejected.
Not be outdone by their undauntedness, I exposed my own tenacity. "Well then you definitely don't want to flaunt a word like masticate at that place, either."
After they settled down from the new round of harumpfs and giggles, I explained that masticating is simply another word for chewing.