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words

You might not believe it, but librarians are all real people too. We have typos in our emails (or sometimes even our posters!), we turn our books in late, and sometimes we even forget words. Here's one librarian's description of that moment when we're reaching for a word and just. can't. get. it. 

Everyone has those moments in life when words completely fail. Like that moment when I can’t seem to think of the right word but the word I’m looking for is “paper,” or “sleep,” or “food,” or my best friend’s name. Or how about those moments when people casually slip a word I don’t know into a conversation. There I am, little miss 2-degrees-in-English, faced with an impossible choice: humble myself and ask for the definition even though I have a nagging suspicion that I’ve looked that one up 14 times, OR just nod along and throw another equally esoteric word back at them in hopes that they are the first to pull out a dictionary app. 

However, thinking of the right word or knowing what the right word even means isn’t the height of my communication problems: It’s biology. My mouth just wasn’t created to say certain things. Consider the toddler asking for ciminon on their bed or buhsghetti in their bow. It’s like that. And every evening I get a chance to prove my ineptitude: As one of the evening librarians in the children’s department, I’m tasked with closing up at the end of the night. Unfortunately, that means that as I exit the building, I have to call security and simply say, “Children’s is done.” Oh that it really were as simple as it sounds. In reality, I sound like a drunken southern hobo: “chilluns is done,” “chilrensss done,” “chileansflkjs@#! …. DONE!” 

So I’ll forgive my mom for calling me Panda (the dog’s name), if she’ll forgive me for staring blankly at the main dish for over 30 minutes during the last family party trying to come up with “turkey.” And I’ll forgive my friend for using that word I resisted looking up and now can’t remember,  if she’ll forgive me for the slobbering mess that I became trying to say “christmas carols.” Words are tough, but they’re all we’ve got. 

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