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Observing Editor

One adventuresome atom

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Continuing our review of useful words that have been unjustly neglected, we will examine a few words that may be employed to abuse friends, neighbors, and passers-by in a tasteful, classic fashion. These terms have been culled from the extensive vocabulary utilized by subscribers to the Fiendster system, presented in the previous feature. If you have not already signed up for a Fiendster account, I urge you to do so. Our subscriber base already contains thousands of satisfied users, many of whom are no doubt inimical to your interests. Do not underestimate the satisfaction of seeing a nicely-rendered network of enemies arrayed against you: ignorance is far from bliss in matters of import.

Our first word is pismire. This is simply an older term for the common ant, but it has the advantage of sounding far more foul. It can be used as a simple epithet, or in conjunction with intensifying adjectives, in a wide variety of social situations.

The Genilman: C’mere baby.

The Lady: Do I know you?

The Genilman: Baby, don’t be like that. Gimme some sugar.

The Lady: Unhand me, you insolent pismire!

This excellent word is equally applicable to serious intellectual and political debate.

The Press: Senator, are you personally disappointed that the Bumpus-Razorback bill died in committee?

Sen. Bumpus: I certainly had been looking forward to a full debate on the merits of this measure on the Senate floor, but rest assured that I will redraft the bill in time for the next Congressional session. We will not be deterred in granting the citizens of this country protection from the horrors of forced education.

The Press: So the fight isn’t over, Senator?

Sen. Bumpus: Over? Far from it. The intellectual pismires of academe may have won the first round, but their opposition will prove short-lived and ultimately futile. The children of our nation must be free - free to leave school and go to work when the family, the precious, nuclear family that we hold sacred, sees fit. No government has a right to meddle in basic family economic affairs.

The Press: Thank you, Senator.

If you wish, you can also apply this term to the colonial insects that habitually infest gardens and lawns, although it seems slightly unfair. I don’t imagine that E. O. Wilson of Harvard would have been quite as successful with his compedious survey of ant species if he had happened to title the volume The Pismires. Science’s loss is our gain, at least in this case.