I had two hours with very little to do this morning because today I was a (insert dramatic music) volunteer test proctor. My job was to ensure that standardized testing procedures were effectively carried out. My slight smile was the only clue to my intense pleasure at being on the disseminating end of this test: you remember: the fill-in-the-bubble, number 2 pencil, no-penalty-for-guessing test.
There I sat watching the students; the only sound came from the clock’s ticking second hand which seemed to move increasingly slower as my borborygmy grew increasingly louder. (And yes, I did have to look up the spelling of borborygmy).
My mind drifted back to the morning before when I returned my signed packet of “proctor” instructions to the school office receptionist. While exiting the office a young wisenheimer, probably a juvenile delinquent called in to see the principal, I later concluded, looked up at me and said “Howdy Pop.” The overly innocent tone of this boy’s voice together with his choice of greetings set off a chain reaction in my brain which resulted in my conclusion that he was calling me over-the-hill.
So there I sat with nothing to do except to count the number of brand names on the students’ clothes. Then like a sudden itch that needs immediate attention, the unresolved mysterious “Pop” returned to my consciousness. Like a scientist analyzing all the causes of an experiment gone wrong, I pondered the term. I had no idea just how busy those three little letters would make me. I took out a piece of paper, and started scribbling. The next sound I heard was the teacher’s voice, “Pencils down,” so I put my pencil down. Here’s what I wrote.
Pop I realized was an important word, for pop is an example of all of the following:
Onomatopoeia for the sound made when a balloon pops.
Palindrome for pop is spelled the same backwards and forwards
Homonym for pop means to burst, and pop means dad
Colloquialism for pop means soda in certain geographic areas.
Acronym for pop means point of presence, an access point to the internet
Abbreviation for pop is short for popular
Jargon for in baseball a hit which is easily caught is called a pop fly
Noun for pop means Father
Verb for pop means to ask as in pop the question
Adjective for pop describes some music
Adverb for pop describes some verbs as in I’ll pop by
I just realized I figured out everything I ever wanted to know about the word pop . . . except maybe what that kid meant by “Howdy Pop.” 🙂