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Suck. Sock. Soak.

September 17, 2012

Words confuse me. Even the simple sounding ones. Words like ‘sock’… or ‘suck’… or ‘soak’. And I find the best method is to relate words to something that I am doing and the probability is that I’ll remember the meaning as well as start using the words.

I was thinking of what example I could choose that could somehow connect me to this trio of words when Meenu, my maid came and stood near me.

I looked up at her and even before I could say anything she magically produced the translucent round box and smiled. This happened every third day. I got up to get the pack of Surf Excel to be poured into the translucent box… and then it suddenly hit me. Yes, I’ll try and connect the words to surf excel… or maybe washing clothes… or maybe I could connect habits, dirty clothes and easy washing together. ‘Well, if I can I’ll be happy,’ I muttered.

‘What did you say, Auntie ji?’ asked Meenu.

‘Nothing,’ I answered, and added, ‘Here is your surf excel.’

I returned to my PC and to the three words in front of me.

I opened the Chrome dictionary and typed in S-U-C-K… and there in front of me were a lot of meanings. I chose the one I thought would connect easily. I wrote:

SUCK: Be very bad, disagreeable, or disgusting

Well, this game is getting quite interesting, I told myself and plunged deeper into it. I could easily relate the chosen meaning of ‘suck’ with dirt, grime, and stubborn spots on dirty clothes. I could connect the meaning with what Meenu was handling right now. So I got up and surveyed the pile of clothes lying there waiting to be washed. Yes, indeed, they were full of dirt and spots and needed a lot of cleaning. And their appearance seemed to actually fit the definition of SUCK that I had chosen.

‘Good,’ I told myself, ‘Suck is successful…’ I was surprised at the way ‘suck’ and ‘successful’ seemed to go together! But I shrugged off the thought.

The next word that was on the list was S-O-C-K. I was back to the Chrome dictionary… the PC has made even my favourite Collins Dictionary so distant. I now hardly ever reach out for any of my reference books. But well, back to my investigation into a word. I wrote:

SOCK: A hard blow. Force or emphasis.

‘Ha!’ I said to myself, ‘this is exactly what I expect Meenu to be doing now. Beat the clothes hard, twist them, torture them and force the dirt and grime molecules out!

So I waited for the tell-tale sounds. None came. In around ten minutes I saw her walking coolly towards the balcony with her bucketful of washed clothes.

‘Meenu, just a minute,’ I said in a slightly loud voice, ‘come to me.’

She came and I asked her to show me the clothes that I had just seen that were quite dirty and soiled and miserably despicable! She was confused but gently extricated the clothing I had asked to be inspected. She spread it with her hands and held it aloft against the light coming in from the window. There was no dirt anywhere. There was no spot that I could spot. It was clean. Absolutely clean!

‘This is unbelievable!’ I said.

Now, even Meenu does understand a few words of English, so she said, ‘Clean. Very clean. Surf good.’

‘Why surf good,’ I said in the same pidgin… though it did make me smile.

‘Good, yes, good. No…’ she thought for a while, struggling for the word she wanted, ‘put in water. Long time.’

‘Ah! You mean soak?’

‘Yes, no soak.’

You mean you soak no more now?’ I asked.

‘Soak no more!’ Meenu parroted. She was happy. The three words sounded so good and they actually rolled inside her mouth like a Thornton’s chocolate and she repeated, ‘Soak no more! Soak no more! Nice. Soak no more!’

‘That’s enough,’ I said… and then got down to the meaning of the next word. Well, where is the point, I told myself. I then said aloud, ‘When clothes suck, would you sock? No, don’t sock, don’t soak. Soak no more!’

Just then Meenu entered again and smiled when she heard me say ‘soak no more!’

I really must thank that day when I was on leave and at home for this brief rolling around with words. It helped me understand why my maid worked fast… and so efficiently!

The post that defines suck - sock - soak in a new way!

The post that defines suck – sock – soak in a new way!

This post is written for ‘The Surf Excel Matic, Soak No More Contest’ on Indiblogger.

Sangita Passey
17 September 2012


From → Idea Point

  1. Good one…a diff perspective.

  2. Nice read. I find lot of similarities to Mr. Passey’s style of writing.

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