Lorrie assigned me the letter “U” after I cavalierly suggested that I wanted a forlorn, cast off and oft-over-looked letter on which to heap praise. This turned out to be harder than I thought...
1) Ultracrepidarians What the heck is that, you say? Well, I’m here to tell you this is a prime example of the power of the letter U and it is a dandy word. According to my dog-eared copy of Webster’s, an Ultracrepidarian is someone who gives opinions on matters beyond his or her knowledge. Sort of like my Crazy Boss, Dubya or Madge the Manicurist. Or bloggers. Not that I could ever be accused of being an Ultracrepidarian, of course. Ahem.
2) Ubiquitous The other day there was one of those annoying people in the car ahead of me who was busy talking on her cell phone when she surely should have been driving. I don’t think talking on your phone while poking along at 32 MPH on the interstate shows much concentration. I am tired of the ubiquitous cell phone, texting and internet surfing that seems to have stolen the soul of two-thirds of the population. Whatever happened to the art of conversation as practiced at the dinner table rather than alone in your car?
3) Umbrage I take umbrage to the ubiquitous cell phone. See#2.
4) Umpires I love umpires because for one thing they wear a nice dark suit to work and look like businessmen. I hardly ever see men wearing suits anymore and if I do I automatically assume they are undertakers. It's nice to know that not all men show up for work these days wearing jeans and Deaf Leopard (sic) tee shirts.
5) Über The new 'designer word" which popped up after people got tired of using boring, if perfectly serviceable words like “super” or “extreme”. And BTW, the two little dots are called Umlauts, which is another U word but did not make my list because, well, they're just little dots.
6) Umbrella I love umbrellas because so many nice people seem to carry them: Gene Kelly in “Singing in the Rain”, Julie Andrews in “Mary Poppins” and all those English people that just use them as walking sticks. James Smith and Sons in London sells some of the finest umbrellas in the world and you can pay over $300 for one of their top-of-the-line brollies. There is something comforting about a really good umbrella. Not the cheap, pop-up ones that always seem to turn inside-out at that first puff of wind. I mean the sturdy wooden ones with ivory handles like Sebastian Cabot carried in "Family Affair".
7) Ukulele These little guitar things are cute and endearing and I tend to think that laid-back people are the ones who take the time to learn to play the ukulele. Unfortunately, Don Ho is no longer with us so the ukulele's days may be numbered. Maybe someone should compile an "All-Time Greatest Ukulele Hits" to ensure its popularity is passed down to the younger generation. Or instead of "Guitar Hero" how about "Ukulele Hero"?
8) Underachievers These folks have tons of potential and the very word says so. If they weren’t capable of achieving something at some point they would be called “neverachievers” or “don’t hold your breathers”. Underachievers are simply achievers who have not gotten with the program yet. Perhaps they are too busy learning how to play the Ukulele (see #7).
9) Unbridled People who are unbridled are happy, carefree, devil-may-care and capable of experiencing pure joy. People who carry umbrellas can be unbridled, like Gene Kelly and Mary Poppings (see #6).
10) Unicorn Anyone who has ever read Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” will understand what is so captivating about these mythical creatures. Personally, I don’t collect them because I already have enough stuff in my house collecting dust but I loved it when Laura Wingfield lost herself in her unicorn collection to escape the drudgeries of the apartment she shared with her mother and brother. Maybe if she had owned a ubiquitous cell phone back then, however, she wouldn’t have had time for her herd of Unicorns and would have spent her days texting and surfing the internet (see #3).