Friday, June 13, 2008

ERSATZ

Another of my little quirks is my compulsive quest for trivial knowledge. One of the reasons I read Muthering Heights on a regular basis is because the author stayed up late one night learning everything she could about badgers. LOVE IT! My English teacher mother often gets phone calls near the middle of the night requesting definitions or origins of words like "clinchpoop" and "popinjay."

Anyway, I was reading a news story online about one of Charles Manson's hippie chicks' possible release from prison because she is terminally ill and has only about 6 months to live. It's called a "compassionate release," and is very rare. The inmate must have family willing to shoulder the financial, physical, etc., burdens of caring for a terminally ill individual. The statistics are that, out of the 60 requests for compassionate release made last year, only 10 were granted (another compulsively obtained piece of trivia).

The point is, the article described Manson's murderous little clan as an "ersatz hippie family." "Ersatz"? What the hey is "ersatz"? So, since I know you are all waiting with bated breath, the meaning of "ersatz" is:

An imitation or substitution, usually inferior (of German origin).

Let's all use that word tomorrow and impress someone!

3 comments:

Muthering Heights said...

Oooooo, good to know! I love big words that mask my insanity with a sheer veil of intellectual prowess...

Kathryn said...

I WAS wondering what that meant, actually. Good to know.

As far as the Manson chickie, TOUGH LUCK! Karma is a bi-otch!

Holly said...

Please feel free to share more vocabulary words with us! I love stuff like that, too. I'll have to check out Muthering Heights as soon as I get caught up on all of my current reads. Now I must go look up "clinchpoop" and "popinjay":)