Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cabin Fever But By a Better Name

At the library the other day we kept a couple ladies waiting when we opened the library doors a few minutes late. (We were having a health and safety talk). So we got to talking with those ladies about how much the library is needed in peoples' lives in our small community—for a minute there they were thinking we weren't going to open, and that would be a bad thing. One of the ladies even suggested that the library was essential because she lives in the bush, and without the human interaction the library provides she'd easily go shack wacky.

Say what?

Uh-huh, shack wacky. I'd never heard that expression before. My writer's brain turned the phrase over, tasted it, tested it. A new expression! A funny expression! An expression that succinctly and superbly expressed its meaning.

Okay, so you're probably thinking I'm acting a little shack wacky for gushing over a couple of words. But part of the fun of being a writer is collecting these little tidbits wherever you can. No, it's not a new expression as I see it's out there and part of the urban dictionary. But it was new to me. I would've just used the term I was more familiar with: cabin fever. But isn't there an interesting difference in feel, in nuance, to the two expressions? Yes, I'm tucking "shack wacky" away for future use. Maybe you'd like to, too.

So yes, believe those PSAs because it really is true: you never know what you'll learn at your library.

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