One word says it all if it has enough capital letters

It’s actually one of my all-time favorite words.


Do we really need the “all-time” preceding favorite? I mean, aren’t we strongly implying, by showing overt preference for a thing, that it became such as a conscious decision made over, you know, time?

I digress.

Anyway, it’s not really a word, to be technical.

It’s a more of a mini-phrase. An abbreviated statement. An exclamation.

The expression in question?



It’s versatile and can convey a myriad of emotions. The number of A’s (or letters, in general) and the decision of whether or not to capitalize them, coupled with the amount of exclamation points tacked onto the end of this little gem are indicative of the situational narrative. Capisce?

I first became acutely aware of the proclamation as a young girl when reading my then-favorite (and still an “all-timer,” BT dubs) comic strip, “Cathy.” You remember her, right?

She was the modern-day single gal beginning back in the late 1970s and right up through 2010 when the comic strip ended syndication.

Think of her as the funny papers’ version of “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Alice,” any / all the “Sex & the City” girls — at least in the early seasons — or any other independent, unmarried female TV character. Ooh, I’m pretty sure “Caroline in the City” was loosely based on her, also. Either way.

“Cathy” was an insecure, self-deprecating, nervous wreck of a lovable hot mess whose life experiences and innate self-doubt would always be chock-full with irony and humor. Hey, a lot of those descriptors sound eerily familiar to me. More digressing.

About that ack …

Whenever Cathy was elated, perturbed, afraid of, offended by, amazed with or pretty much had any feeling whatsoever about a person, place or thing, she’d always respond with a corresponding, “Ack!” The bigger the sentiment, the more letters, etc.

But the whole ack flack brought more than just memories back. It got me to wondering: Is anything ending in ACK kind of, you know, whack?

So I began to ponder words spelled, sounding like or ending in those three magic little letters ACK — and I was rather taken aback!

I mean, there’s attack, plaque, smack, hack (debatable in the today’s vernacular), sad sack, cutback, bushwhack, setback, backtrack, ransack, drawback, sidetrack, wisecrack, amnesiac, megalomaniac and, of course, insomniac.

Whew. Hey, did I mention writing this at 3 a.m.? Fine, so I have a little trouble sleeping and am taking it out on the ACK. Cut me some slack.

It’s just that when I hit the sack my mind begins to unpack all the day’s heaviest crap and I’m subjected to a mental soundtrack of negative feedback. Anxiety attacks and the brain just keeps talking back.


Maybe I just need a little snack or some soothing lilac?

Perhaps then I could lie back — and take a little nap — on my gunny sack — and get on the right track.

I’m making a self-pact: I’ll try to relax and, just like Stella, get my groove back.

Kimerer is a columnist, blogger and one sad sack of an insomniac. Follow her mental track — it’s filled with ack: www.patricia kimerer.com


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