John Howell Sr. editorial 5/26/2015

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Scownel-boogar added to list of endangered species

During a lengthy, in-depth conversation with my brother over lunch last week, the apparent near extinction of the scoundrel-bougar came up.

Neither of us had heard mention of one in years, much less the report of a sighting. They once inhabited many colorful conversations around us and that in itself is probably one reason for their demise.

Reduced to print, scoundrel-bougar becomes too cumbersome  and unwieldy to survive today’s fast pace messaging. The phonetic spelling in its conversational habitat renders it something like “scow-nel-booger.”

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Neither version of the spelling lends itself well to textspeak, no doubt a major factor in its pending extinction. But textspeak will never be able to provide the colorful, animated conversations where scownel-boogers once flourished in great numbers.

I can no longer remember the last time that I heard someone say something like, “That scownel-booger could run like a scalded dog!,” to describe the speedy performance of a vehicle. Or, “He’s a real scownel-booger,” to describe a red-blooded, all-boy, right-side-up individual.

How much our conversations have been depleted in the absence of such colorful vernacular.
Of course, calling someone a scoundrel by itself without a bougar attached runs risk of consideration as fighting words or a slander suit. But describe that person as a scownel-booger and he will have a hard time suppressing his grin.

Please join me in listening for the few remaining scownel-boogars we have left. If you see — err, hear of one, take a photo with your phone. If we can’t preserve the species, at least we can hold their memory.