Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cool Scrabble Word: ASEA

I would have thought this was obvious. I've known ASEA for as far back as I can remember the concept. But, in a recent Scrabble game, ASEA was nearly challenged. So I'm going to set the record straight: ASEA is a word, and totally cool.

being at sea;
on the ocean;
on a boat on the ocean;
in the direction of the ocean

Why it's useful: This is a "vowel dump." When you have too many vowels, look for vowel dumps, to get rid of as many useless vowels as you can.

Why it's cool: Not only is it good to use when speaking of nautical friends, ASEA can be a metaphor for intense feelings. How many times have you been asea on an ocean of doubt and dismay? If I had a nickel...

Check this sentence out, pulled from a search in Google Books:
Both in politics and economics he is "asea"; he shows the political acumen of a
Yahoo when it comes to grasping where conservatives stand on New Deal issues...

So there is a sense of helplessness with this word. Asea, you are tossed from one wave to the next. You are not altogether in control. This sense, I assume, comes from the time when sailors were gone for long periods of time, and their wives had no idea, really, where they were.

"Where is your husband?"
"He is asea, sir."

Use ASEA whenever you are adrift, and don't quite know which way to go or what to do. Your listener will hopefully throw you a line.

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