Is this a made up word? Yes. My brother created the term: Meredibly. Here’s the story behind the word:
I was typing up an environment class assignment after school one day, when my mother and brother came in the room. The assignment had been to ride my bike a few miles to school and back, taking note of my surroundings in my notebook along the way. I took the assignment very seriously and did just that and felt like a million bucks! Plus, I wasn’t polluting the environment by driving my car to school. What I hadn’t considered was how tired I would be after going to track practice after school and then bicycling a few miles back home. So when my brother and my mother came into the room and sat down, I pined and complained over how tired I was but how great the ride was! “It was so worth it but my legs are killing me. Help!”
My mom offered to type up my handwritten notes for me just like she had done for me when I was twelve and working on book reports. My brother said he would read off my notes while she typed. We didn’t usually do things like that but it was a fun way to be together and share our days.
Now, I must say that I have been told that my hand writing is like a Greek scribe’s. My cursive is very loopy and can be hard to read. I also tend to love very embellished, poetic language. You better believe that I write all over notebook pages and throughout the margin areas too. Ink swims on pages I encounter. Between being verbose, tired and a inky, my brother had his work cut out for him.
He started dictating and Mom started replying to everything he read – the buggers were critiquing my over-the-top, flowery language! My brother, the jock (who told me a few years into college that he had NEVER read a book from cover to cover,) was SO not into my ridiculous descriptions. It was funny being held accountable like that but I still liked what I had. What was even funnier though was my brother’s monotone reading. He was ribbing me like only a beloved brother can do and my mom was laughing right along with him. I was just happy to have somebody else doing the work so I could lie down!
I remember actually writing about bicycling over a steam grate and running my hands through the mist while remembering a book I read about a girl who walked through the mist that carried her through to a time past. Find enough. What got weird was when I describe a Lady Slipper I passed as nascent and pre-pubescent. My brother and mom had a field day with that one!
Then my brother happened upon a sentence that may no sense to him. It was something like, “… it was an incredibly spiritual experience to bicycle through the vibrant grounds of Wheaton College toward the Norton town commons…” Between the hand writing and over-the-top prose, my brother got even more dead pan and just sounded out whatever he thought he was reading. “It was a meredibly experience…” The thought of it still makes me laugh. Mom got a big belly laugh at his pronunciation.
“What is that word?” she asked.
“Meredibly?” he guessed, laughing. Truth be told, some of what they were doing was getting on my nerves. They were laughing at something I cared about, but when he invented the word Meredibly, I laughed a punch drunk, tired as all get out laugh. I’d been so focused on being like one of the great Romantic poets that I had not even been paying attention to decent communication or, apparently, my penmanship. Our laughter bubbled over, even after I tried to get us on track.
“It’s not gibberish. Where are you reading?” I had to go over and explain what the word was. “That says, ‘incredibly!’” They weren’t really having any of it and kept laughing. It’s like I just added some fuel to the fire. We got through the rest of the assignment but laughter kept bubbling up in random places.
What could’ve been a passing funny moment grew with time and excellent comedic timing. In situations where someone was speaking in circles or when people were confused and trying to figure out what to do or what direction to take to get somewhere, my mother or brother would respond, “Meredibly?” symbolizing the funny and precious family moment where my family had to make sense of non-sense.
Well, with a primarily inattentive ADD mind like mine, I still cause my fair share of confusion and my life and the work I do are such a hodgepodge of experiences that meredibly still works. Whether dealing with misdirection or obscure rhetoric, meredibly still sums it all up.