As I wandered helplessly at the local megamall to begin, but not complete my Christmas shopping I got distracted.  I got sidelined by the 17 kiosks, offering unique cell phone deals. I of course stopped at each one to confirm how bad my current plan is. As I wandered in circles to get inspired, I noticed there were also more than four different retail stores offering make up, waxing and facials to help the female population understand, that whatever look they were currently displaying, it simply isn’t Kardashiany enough to meet today’s current standards. I was not the brightest male in that mall, but I did know that getting a gift to suggest that a female needed to upgrade their look could only end badly.

I thought how superficial a facial is. Then I started thinking about the suffix “ficial” and how devasting that word ending has become. I did this because I will do practically anything to avoid shopping. By anything I mean doing Tax Returns for penitentiary inmates charged with multiple homicides, replacing shelf paper on all the kitchen shelves or alphabetizing all the clothes in the laundry basket. After purchasing a scented candle I raced back to my car with a feeling of accomplishment and went home to reassess the offering of gift cards, as a feeble expression of thoughtful gift giving, to those you don’t really want to sit beside at the upcoming Christmas meal.

This “ficial” thing got me very curious, just like a scientist who sees unsuspecting bacteria while viewing cultures through their microscope. I am no scientist but I do understand the importance of culture in today’s society.

Inspired to learn more, I began to do a little research. The kind of research only done by lonely archaeologists, searching for King Tut’s brother’s tomb, hoping his name is King Twit so they have a good laugh at the annual convention in Cairo. Participants at the convention may scowl mumbling “tut tut” but that only contributes to the laughter at coffee breaks.  As this powerful feeling of discovery continued, the results were overwhelming, as I momentarily forgot that nobody cares about what I do on a typical Saturday afternoon.

This perspiring research went on and it became clear that, what this “never before seen” data was exposing, was very clear and less than positive. It seems all words ending in “ficial” were showing striking similarity Unlike a facial, words that decide to include the ending “ficial” will not improve your facial expressions at all. Each word I uncovered led to more depression, despair and a little paranoia. Remembering that paranoia will annoy ya, I smiled at the clever rhyme I just made up, though I may not include this in my final report.

Let’s now review the results of the extensive research, that will remind others there are much more productive ways fill a Saturday afternoon.


This “ficial” word is most commonly expressed when the guest that nobody likes, finally leaves the party. Words like phony, insincere, and disingenuous often follow the initial uttering of superficial. I must confess that I can’t be certain of this expanded conversation of superficial, as it typically occurs after I have left the party.


There is not one instance where the word artificial is used, that ends with a positive complimentary conclusion. Describing people this way  tends to get back to the previous word superficial, and as discussed earlier anyone expressing this to describe another is never smiling.  There are other uses of this word.

It seems artificial flavouring, that is in everything you eat except for organic broccoli, causes terminal diseases. I am not suggesting that artificial flavouring isn’t tasty, because it is. I am only suggesting that adding a chemical, that even the terrorists who create biochemical weapons are afraid to touch, may not be the best staple of a long term, healthy diet.

Artificial insemination rarely occurs on date night, as doctor’s discourage overconsumption of red wine during this tricky medical procedure.

Every third movie released over the past five decades includes a plot line exploring some form of artificial intelligence. I have viewed every one of these movies, to ensure I keep up with potential threats to the exisitance of mankind. Since 1968 and the release of 2001 A Space Oddesy, the conclusion of each of these pieces of cinematic brilliance, tells you that this world as we know it, will end very badly, when artificial intelligence gets a prominent seat at the kitchen table.


Since the beginning of time, when pagans concluded that sacrificing their next door neighbor to a statue that looked like a disfigured animal might improve weather after two days of heavy rain, we have recognized the importance of human sacrificing.

This word is even less comforting if you belong to some crazy cult, where they must sacrifice a human to their God, on a weekly basis to demonstrate your undying allegiance to a crazed leader, who is usually wearing a black turtle neck sweater. Virgins tend to get priority with this group, but eventually the leader supports the tradition of bigamy (cue the Marx brother joke,” I thought it was big of me too”) and loosens the definition for the sacrifice to the more inclusive “members who are currently alive”. The good news is if this is a small cult, most of the members will be exterminated before your large garage sale in the summer.

During company downsizing, the CEO often picks a prominent executive to model the impartiality of the massive firing. This unsuspecting employee is labeled as the sacrificial lamb of the process. Once again this suffix doesn’t leave a warm and fuzzy feeling for those newly unemployed people after its usage.


And speaking of the work place, there is another use of “ficial” that leaves many questioning their own self worth as others get unwarranted credit for things they never did.  Is there any word less satisfying than the word unofficial?  Think about it, your only chance to win employee of the month is thwarted because of circumstances beyond your control. Your boss tries to comfort you as he explains,  “You were the unofficial winner this month however Fred in finance was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis.  To cheer Fred up we felt giving him the monthly award, was the right thing to do. Though Fred was the official winner this month, you were the unofficial winner. My trophy case remains empty.  Will the use of this suffix and its tragic consequences never end?

We are almost officially done here.

I choose now to stop this painful exposure of the suffocating suffix that only leads to intolerable suffering.  Thankfully, because each of these words are more than seven letters, you will never have to be reminded of them while playing Scrabble with your family.

To give this sad, emotional tale a bit of a Frank Capra ending, like the magic of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, I will conclude with a word that twists this into a tone that is slightly more upbeat.

All great research must strive for a little balance if it wants to be taken seriously., I will conclude with a word that will not only refute this nasty hypothesis on the suffix “ficial”, but more importantly leave you with a conflicting sense of inspiration and optimism.

And now for that incongruent ending…

I hope this was beneficial


Cue the Blong: To continue to change the tone here, I enter into the world of Romance.  Tred carefully in this world my friends.




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