Sunday, October 08, 2006

Origin of "snarky"...and I'm goin' for twunny!

Mitali asked about the origin of the word "snarky," so curious, I googled it. I found this:

Critical in a curmudgeonly sort of way. The adjective snarky is first recorded in 1906. It is from dialectal British snark, meaning 'to nag, find fault with', which is probably the same word as snark, snork, meaning 'to snort, snore'. (The likely connection is the derisive snorting sound of someone who is always finding fault.) Most dictionaries label snarky as "Chiefly British Slang." But for the last five or more years, it has become increasingly common in American publications, maybe ones infiltrated by British or Canadian writers and journalists.

And this:
1. Rudely sarcastic or disrespectful; snide.
2. Irritable or short-tempered; irascible.
[From dialectal snark, to nag, from snark, snork, to snore, snort, from Dutch and Low German snorken, of imitative origin.]

And this:
Main Entry: snarky
Pronunciation: 'snär-kE
Function: adjective
Etymology: dialect snark to annoy, perhaps alteration of nark to irritate
2 : sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner

Anyway, I have a new rule. I'm the only snark allowed on my blog.


I'm about to head out for a twenty-mile run this morning. I hope I don't feel too funny. More later.

1:38 pm
Okay, I'm back, and I do feel funny, but I also feel good--especially now that it's over! 20 miles in 3 hours, 27 minutes, and 29 seconds. Faster than I've ever run a long race. For the 18 miles that were scored, I averaged 10 minute and 12 second miles. Much faster than I ran the half marathon. I did it! The last 5 miles were killer, though. I kept feeling like stopping. And the second-to-last mile was the worst, but then I passed this buff guy who was walking, his arms straight out in front of him and his hands making fists, and he was talking to himself. "Almost there. Almost there." and I thought, ha--I'm doing better than this guy. And then later he started running again and I heard him muttering to himself, "Focus. Focus." and that kept me going.

Little things like that help a lot. Going up one of the killer hills that seemed like it would never end, and a woman on a bicycle shouted encouraging things to us. "Use your arms to help you up the hill. Almost there. This is the last time you'll see this hill." It helped. I'm looking forward to all of this and more during the actual marathon. It better help, because when I passed mile 16 and thought, damn, could I do 10 more miles? I didn't think I could. But I'll be pumped up, and I'll have friends at various spots on the route, so that will keep me going. And really, if I must, I'll take walking breaks.

I met up with Fred's Team, before the race, because we were doing an extra 2 miles before the 18 mile training run. I went out to the Thursday night training last week, so there were some familiar faces, which was good. It was fun to keep a look out for the bright orange shirts and bright purple shorts. Thursday, though, almost killed me. We did stairs. Including hopping up stairs on one foot. I didn't realize how hard that was until I tried it. But I must say, it helped during the race, because I thought about it when going up hills. Pumping my arms, bouncing on my toes.

Oh, and another cool thing--as I crossed the finish line, they announced my name. "And now finishing at XX:XX is Alvina L*ng with Fred's Team!" We had chips during this run, so I guess my name must have popped up on the computer. It was nice that they pronounced it right, too. I'm always afraid that people will say "Al-vine-a" instead of "Al-vee-na."

Okay, that all for now. I did twenty, and that's plenty. Now for a nice, long, hot shower.

Oh, and not that I expect the blogosphere to support my run financially, but if you're looking to donate for pediatric cancer research (it's tax deductable), you can sponsor me here. I'm running in honor of Grace Lin's husband, Robert, who, after a long run at it, is finally in remission again! Let's hope the same for everyone fighting cancer.


Jenn said...

sounds like a good rule. Sort of the "if you don't have anything nice to say" deal. I think that is the golden rule of blogworld (or it should be).

Anonymous said...

1906! Wow.

I wonder whether Miss Snark knows. :-)

Anonymous said...

What a snarky person needs is a twenty-mile run. Twenty miles on foot can de-snark the snarkiest.

My props to you!

mbpbooks said...

Thanks, Alvina. Now that's why I love editors -- you love etymology as much as we authors do. Weirdos, all of us.

Anonymous said...

Snarky is definitely not british slang. Im from east London bitches, I kill bastards for fun!

Anonymous said...

Nothing was infiltrated by the British. The word became popular in the United States because of the comedian Dane Cook.