Linguistic Musings: On the non-word “koob”

In Funny, Life on September 30, 2009 at 2:01 am

In the course of clearing out my e-mail folders from the e-mail address I used as a teenager, my old adolescent hotmail account, I found myself confronted with a number of tear-jerking memories. Oh, my teenaged-self. The e-mail address itself speaks volumes: I’ve deliberately included an incorrect year of my birth not, as I might now do, to throw off potential identity theft wannabes, but rather to make myself seem older to friends, co-workers, and potential sweethearts of the messenger variety.

I also found an immensely strange e-mail that I wrote to friends of mine in a regional subset of a leadership group that was, at the time, known as the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Association, or HOBY for short. I loved this group. I wish I were still involved (though it now goes by another name). I am frequently attacked by bouts of nostalgia for those simpler days, and for the amazing friendships I formed there. Never was I so cool (and, as anyone who was in said group could tell you, that is saying something truly depressing about my current state of coolness), or so accepted.

But I digress: this e-mail. What exactly prompted it I cannot not fathom, but I saved it in the dregs of my inbox for some reason, surely anticipating the joy my future self would enjoy upon re-discovering it. And I thought, with some small amendments, I might post it here to enlighten and enrich the lives of my readers worldwide… all 7 of them:

“… Clearly, koob is book backwards. Would you like a further explanation? Of course you would. Settle down in your sleeping bags kidlets, this is going to be a long night…

You see, the word book is a work used to describe a work of literature, pages with writing bound together with a binding, between two colourfully illustrated cover pages, one more so than the other. Books are most commonly read, however there are also “books on tape” which can be listened to, or read while listening to. There are also Braille books, which can be felt. Or felt while listening to. Books can be read, felt, or listened to. They provide entertainment, knowledge, visions, ideas, instructions, facts, fictions, opened doors, opened windows, a new outlook, an old outlook, comedy, seriousness, interesting tidbits, sad stuffs, foodstuffs, instructions on making foodstuffs, plays, dialogue, allegory, the history of an age, the history of a person, the history of both, pictures, words, symbols, and much, much more. Books are marvellous creations of men and women. Those that write them often deserve praise for the wonders they are inserting into society. There are those, however, that deserve to be shot for the filth that they are trying to sell.

Thusly: a koob is the opposite of a book. If books were upside down, they would be called koobs. Were they read right to left rather than left to right, they would be called koobs. If reading, feeling, or listening to a book required absolutely no effort on anyone’s part, they would be called koobs. On a side note, if you write the word koob, and aren’t paying attention to what you just wrote, like I have done many times, then you may mistake it for the word “boob”. It is not. However, the word boob is the same whether it is spelt backwards or forwards: boob/boob. See? Does that therefore make the word boob the most perfect word in existence? We shall explore.

There can be variations on boob that all meant the same thing; however, breast, titties, melon, chest, nunga-nunga, or boulder all spell something different when in reverse (such as tsaerb, seittit, nolem, tsehc, agnun-agnun, or redluob). I have decreed, based on this newly discovered information, that the word “boob” is the most perfect word ever. Done.

**2009 amendment: Clearly my 17 year-old self never thought to consider the implications of the alternative denotations of the word “boob”, particularly that in which the word is applied to a person of sublime incompetence and idiocy, i.e. “I cannot stand that ridiculous boob and his maddening boobery.” I can only ever speculate on the interesting entanglements of thought that might have been extricated from my underage mind had I done so…**

Clearly, koob and boob are different things. However, if books are marvellous, and boob is the most perfect word ever, and koob is a backwards book that makes one think of the word boob, then a koob is also a most marvellous word.

Therefore, he who had the insight to provide the world with such a wonderful word as koob deserves to be commended for his brilliant actions in the line of duty. I would like to be the first to applause him for his contributions to the world over in the single new word “koob”. Koob-oober-oob. Koob. Let mankind raise a boob for the word koob and its creator.

The End.

This essay was written by Ally Q.

A Note on Miss Ally Q.

Ally Q, also known as Ally Q. Sherman, was born in a small Chevrolet minivan beside the river Otonabee. She discovered her passion was writing after a devastating flood left her without the ability to speak. She spent many a year writing to no avail. None of her works have yet to be discovered by a single publisher. She was killed in 2306 by a rampaging emu. Her body has been bronzed, and turned into a statue, which stands now in the image of one Joseph Stalin, in South Africa. She is believed there to be a god of hermaphroditic proportions and unisexualness, and many sacrifice bulls and seagulls in her name.

“Please do not butcher me too badly; remember, I am weak of mind and body.”

Ally (Q.)

  1. So someone came into work last week that was wearing an X pin, and I commented on it. Turns out their child was one of your Hoby compadres, and their child (possibly the same one) also went to StFX. NOWAI. Anyway, thought you’d enjoy.

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