Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Boondoggle



My town is planning a ridiculous bypass that cuts through residential neighborhoods and a state preserve all to eliminate the congestion on US1. This congestion mind you, is only there during rush hour when people are trying to get to and from work. Guess where a lot of people work? Downtown.

This bypass? Bypasses the entire downtown.

Pointless. Millions of pointless dollars spent to alleviate a problem that only lasts for about two hours a day total. Locals know how to avoid it. We know the short cuts and the hours to stay away from US1. Personally, I have never spent more than 15 minutes sitting in traffic and that was because of an accident.

What will the bypass accomplish? Not much aside from directing tourists away from the historic downtown and away from the US1 business district. Guess what kind of town this is. A tourist town. It's the biggest industry and employer (in general, mind you not as a single employer).

In a story published in the local paper an elderly resident (whose home is in the residential district that will be affected) claimed that the local developers and state officials had “boondoggled” the town residents. In the comments section for the article, one very…shall we say illiterate…person claimed that he couldn’t take the complaint or the issue seriously because the elderly man used the word, “boondoggle.”

This, my Friends, is the word that led me to this year’s A to Z theme.

Boondoggle is a verb from the 1930s meaning to cheat or swindle. Interestingly, Boondoggle is also found in the 1850s as a noun meaning a gadget. I like it as a verb.

Example: Benny and Billy, the Blarton Boys, boondoggled Betty into banning Bobby from her birthday bash by boldly braying that Bobby’s bollocks were blanketed in bleeding blemishes.

This post has been brought to you by the Letter B and the fine folks at Blogging A to Z. And by the number 20. Check out more A to Z blogs here!

40 comments:

  1. Gee, I hope that bypass would not be happening, that someone can get some sense to the authority who decided on the bypass. What a pity otherwise.

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  2. That man really wouldn't like me, because I use all sorts of old expressions and words that have fallen out of favor because my dad still used them when I was growing up.

    I also relate to the bypass. For a long time, they were trying to get a new bridge built over the Mississippi River in Dubuque, IA where there are already two bridges because the Julien Dubuque bridge which hooks together Illinois and Dubuque (instead of Wisconsin and Dubuqe like the other bridge you can see from the first one)

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    1. I accidentally hit enter on that....I was saying because the Julien Dubuque bridge isn't wide enough for an ambulance to drive between two vehicles. This bridge never takes over 1.5 minutes to drive across unless there is a traffic back up because of an accident elsewhere. I realize loss of life is no matter to take lightly but I wager no one has ever died on the way to the hospital because it took an extra 30 seconds to go across our bridge simply because the ambulance had to weave in and out of cars. This was all planned before the economy tailspinned though and the project has stalled since then.

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  3. It took about three years for several overpasses to be built over the highway here. They do absolutely no good. Nobody can get anywhere they want to unless they're on those roads several times a day to learn where they have to go. I just don't understand why some people spend millions of dollars on pointless things that only cause trouble.

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  4. Bravo! Boldly brandishing “B” by bushels. By Bypassing businesses, businesses become broke because betrayed bystanders believed boondoggling bullies.


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    1. DUDE!! You are totally outshining my sample sentences!! :)

      Awesome!

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  5. That is frustrating. If it serves no purpose, and doesn't get people downtown, where will it go? I guess all you can do at this point is chain yourself to a tree...or vote out the people who approved it, whichever.

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    1. It's supposed to connect the southern portion of US1 to the a section north of town. LikeI said, pointless and crazy!

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  7. A new word to learn. I am sure to add 26 new words to my vocabulary by the end of this challenge. Looking forward for more.

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    1. Thanks and thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Hmmm, that's good to know that boondoggled is a word. I thought it was just something funny that you made up. Either way, it works for me! About the byspass thing, can the residents in your town vote against it or have a meeting with local officials to express the concerns? Hopefully, it will work out for you guys.

    -Nicole
    2013 A to Z Challenge Co-Host
    www.madlabpost.com

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    1. I am not entirely sure at this point if the residents can actually do anything about - it has already garnered the favor of the state and passed a review panel.

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  9. I've always loved this word. As for the topic, the crazy ways in which the government decides to spend money never cease to amaze me.

    Good luck with the challenge.

    Cheryl
    http://www.thebusymomsdaily.com/2013/04/blogging-from-to-z-april-challenge_2.html

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  10. OK from this day forward I am using the word boondoggle. I love it.

    Came by from the A to Z challenge
    http://talesofthereborncrafter.blogspot.com/

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  11. I love the way you taught us this word

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  12. Our government at work is always a wonder to behold. I love Boondoggle. I love to say it. I love to write it. I hate to see it happen.

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  13. A great word! I'm definitely going to try and get it in somewhere.

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  14. Here's some other known boondoggles that local politicians often push to screw local taxpayers:
    1. Build a another casino.
    2. Build another mall.
    3. Renovate Downtown.

    All three are usually subsidized at the taxpayer's expense in the name of improve the economy, but end up doing more bad than good (aside from lining the pockets of a few businessmen and politicians).

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  15. A boondoggle by any other name is still a ...well...Boondoggle. Politicians will dress it up and accumulate their testimonials, but in short many Boondoggles serve only the few.

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  16. So, now an entire town has been boondoggled by balderdash...just not right; sometimes I think the public is way too passive.

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    1. I agree. I think we just accept the status quo and hope that things will work out for the best for us. Many, I know, feel that even if they stood up for something they believe in that it wouldn't matter because they'd be just a lone voice.

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  17. Some things never change no matter how many years go by or how old the word gets. Thanks for reviving a creative and fun word to say.

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  18. Boondoggle is a GREAT word! However, that bypass doesn't sound like it will be so great. I hope the city will reconsider.

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  19. Ooh, I like that word! I get a lot of pleasure out of using old, rarely heard words, and people look at me like I'm crazy :) I'll definitely be adding Boondoggle to my vocabulary :)

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  20. I had not heard of this word before. This bypass idea sounds like a really ridiculous one!

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  21. I'd heard boondoggle but never knew what it meant. Love it!

    KC @ The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit & Oh Frog It

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  22. Totally thought you'd made up the word Boondoggle, not going to lie. Perhaps it'll make a comeback?

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    1. Honestly, even though I didn't think about it at the time, that is really one of my hopes with this challenge: that long forgotten and out of use words would make a reapperance. It certainly makes me feel better thinking that we could be using more expressive words that would preempt curses!

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  23. I dig the way this one rolls off of the tongue! I'm taking it out into the world!

    Hugs!

    Valerie

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  24. How cool that one letter to the editor inspired your entire challenge!

    Ack - stinks about the construction though. Sounds like it will be a lot of time and money spent on something that will hinder rather than help most people.

    ~Alana @ writercize.blogspot.com
    Cheering you on from A through Z!

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    1. Indeed! I love that I found inspiration in such an unusually place!

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  25. I'm giggling here at the word boondoggle, I like it...on the serious note of the bypass, it can only lead to trouble, we've loads of them here in Ireland, a lot of little towns that were nice to go through and had loads of little funky shops have turned into virtual ghost towns because of course they don't have the through traffic anymore. It's a crying shame that people just want to get to where they are going fast and don't want to stop and look around anymore.

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    1. I completely agree! We make a big deal about saying that the getting to where we are going is "half the fun." But, how can it be fun if you miss out on seeing all the points between departure and destination?

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  26. LOVE your theme! Looking forward to all these interesting words all month! :)

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  27. Hi Heather, I enjoy your style. Interesting post. Oh how the government likes to waste our money on non-essential unnecessary matters. I love the word boondoggle. It is a commonly used word in the military where I learned it meant to spend time doing something that was really unnecessary while making it seem important. We would accuse each other of going on a boondoggle whenever one of us got to do a a plum temporary assignment or trip. I think I agree with you that it works fine as a verb as well and it is obviously the responder that is illiterate. Thanks for the post and the education. God bless, Maria from Delight Directed Living

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  28. Heather, can you keep going after this challenge finishes please ... these are so great and I homeschool and am thinking of adding you to my childrens curriculum ... they love learning and using new words and your stories are a delight!

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    1. I can't make any promises but I do like this year's theme so I may do a weekly post about outdated and unused slang and phrases.

      Thanks for stopping by and the praise!

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