Strange Places I’ve Been

Posted November 16th, 2011 at 12:30 pm (UTC-4)
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As you know if you consult this space regularly, I love geography, travel, and words.  Especially when writing about America.

A good friend of mine, Walker Merryman, whose personality fits his surname, wrote recently to tell me he, too, has been a lot of places of late.  Why, he said, he’d been in Cognito, but nobody recognized him.  And in Capable — more and more often, unfortunately, as he ages.

That’s nothing, my friend.  I’ll have him, and you, know that in the past year alone, I’ve been . . .

In Communicado.  When you didn’t hear from me for a while, that’s where I was.

In Stinct.  Just had a feeling I’d like the place.

A view from my window in Clement.  (Golden_ie, Flickr Creative Commons)

A view from my window in Clement. (Golden_ie, Flickr Creative Commons)

In Clement.  Nice enough place, but it poured rain every day I was there.

In Somnia.  Noisy.  Didn’t sleep a wink.  Didn’t have that problem, though, over in Audible, where you could hear a pin drop.

In Cahoots, with Carol.

In Dex.  Orderly place.

In Fantry.  Even more organized.  People kept asking me to give them their marching orders.

In Tellect.  College town.  Smart folks.  Stuck up, even.

In Ferno.  Sweltering dot on the map, down by the Mexican border.

In Dent.  Didn’t stay long. Stuck my head in and left.

In Decent.  Nudist colony.  The stories I could tell!

In Genue.  Prettier girls there than in Sipid, trust me.

In Gress.  Easy to get into.  Harder to get out.

In Kling.  Thought I’d like it there for no particular reason. Just a gut feeling.

In Surgent.  Troublemakers everywhere.  Couldn’t wait to leave.

In Tention.  Well-meaning people there.

In Quire.  Suspicious bunch.  Questions, questions.

In Sulin.  Got out of there fast.  I’m pre-diabetic.

I found the folks kind of clumsy in Ept.  (, Flickr Creative Commons)

I found the folks kind of clumsy in Ept. (, Flickr Creative Commons)

In Ept.  Friendly enough folks, but not very helpful.  Same thing down the road in Competent.  But the worst was in Bred.

In Sect.  Gave me the creepy-crawlies.

In Dict.  They pronounce it “Dite.”  Not a very friendly place.  You’re always on the defensive.

In Nuendo.  Sorta like Dict, but more subtle.

In Cumbent, which the same bunch has been running for 50 years.

In Ebriate.  Party town!

In Grain, where you soon learn that things are done a certain way.  Same attitude over in Flexible.

In Finite.  Took forever to get there, and even longer to get through.

In Trigue, where everybody’s a conspiracy theorist.

In Firm.  Retirement community.

In Valid.  Didn’t feel accepted there.  Didn’t in Visible, either.

In Sist.  Pushy crowd.

In Ert.  Not exactly a happening town.

In Hale.  Now this place was a trip!

I have also been in Doubt.  I think.

Early overview, taken in Got.  (Library of Congress)

Early overview, taken in Got. (Library of Congress)

In Got.  Steel town.

In Strument.  Carol and I made beautiful music together there.

In Cline.  Ski country.

In Tangible.  Kinda liked it, but I can’t tell you why.

In Novate.  Loaded with research parks.  Even more down the road in Vent.

In Flation.  Pricey.

In Sane.  Drove me crazy.

In Jure.  Signs everywhere you look: “Caution.”  “Warning.”  “Beware.”

In Suspense.  Liked it, but something was missing.

In Troduce.  “No one’s a stranger,” they say there.

In Mate.  Guess who runs that place!

So I’ve been in a lot of places of late.

And I’ve been off Spring, under Garments, with Out, up Beat, down Stairs, to Day, on Ward, and by Gone.

Haven’t been in Continent, though, fortunately.  Yet.

Forgot to mention one more place I've been.  In Artistic.  (Katie@!, Flickr Creative Commons)

Forgot to mention one more place I've been. In Artistic. (Katie@!, Flickr Creative Commons)

Ted's Wild Words

These are a few words from this posting that you may not know. Each time, I'll tell you a little about them and also place them into a cumulative archive of "Ted's Wild Words" in the right-hand column of the home page. Just click on it there, and if there's another word that you'd like me to explain, just ask!

Cahoots. Partnership with another. The word is usually paired with “in.” One is “in cahoots” with another, often in some sort of conspiracy. The word is borrowed from the French cahute, or “cabin.” It is thought to have first appeared in English among fur trappers in the American Northwest, where they often lived in “cahoots” with their French trapper partners.

Incommunicado. Not in communication, out of touch.

Indict. To accuse, especially to formally charge one with a crime.

Inert. Motionless. Lacking vigor.

Ingot. A large block or bar of iron or steel, ready to be melted and formed into defined shapes.

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Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


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