I’m Right, You’re Wrong: Going To Extremes

by Marinka on February 15, 2012

I am happy to present a very special edition of I’m Right, You’re Wrong, where you get to weigh in on a poignant dispute between me and a loved one.

Scene: Sunday night at Marinka’s home, a scene of domestic bliss and tranquility.

Cast of characters: Marinka and Husbandrinka.

* * *

Husbandrinka: Woe is me, I am sick.

Marinka: What is wrong, please tell me. Forsooth.

Husbandrinka: You’re using “forsooth” wrong. And I appear to have a fever. For I am shivering.

Marinka: Pray, put on a sweater and take some Tylenol.

Husbandrinka: That is sage advice and I will follow it anon.

A few minutes later.

Marinka: Please tell me how you are feeling.

Husbandrinka: I am sick. And I am cold.

Marinka: Thou speaketh an untruth! For how can thou be cold when thou weareths a huge sweater?

Husbandrinka: My extremities are cold.

Marinka: Your what?

Husbandrinka: My extremities.

Marinka: Normal people do not say “extremities”. It sounds like you are writing your own autopsy report.

Husbandrinka: ::drifts off to sleep::

Scene: Lunch at Saks next day with dear friend Susan.

Marinka:…and then he said “my extremities are cold.” Can you believe it? How I live with that man, I’ll never know, ha ha!

Susan: What’s wrong with that?

Marinka: What’s wrong with what? Extremities? Normal people don’t say “extremities”.

Susan: We say it in my family.

Marinka: You do not say it in your family. Ok, on what occasion do you say “extremities” in your family?

Susan: Like when something’s cold. An extremity, for example.

Marinka: Just say “hands and feet”.

Susan: What about calves?

Marinka: CALVES ARE NOT EXTREMETIES. OMG, are you in a conspiracy with Husbandrinka to make me insane? Are you? JUST ADMIT IT, SUSAN! Extremeties. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Which brings us to this week’s I’m Right, You’re Wrong.

Dilemma: Do normal people use the word “extremities” to refer to their hands and feet?

Disagreers: Husbandrinka and Susan, co-conspirators vs. Marinka

Position One: “Extremities” is normal word and quicker to say than “hands and feet”.

Position Two: Only people on medical/crime dramas and Farrah Fawcett movies should say “extremities”.

What do you think?

One year ago ...

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{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Steph February 15, 2012 at 12:40 am

m-w.com says marinka is right (as always): “a limb of the body; especially : a human hand or foot”
p.s. calves, seriously?? not extreme


clare February 15, 2012 at 2:52 am

It was pretty common where I grew up to say extremities … but only when being dramatic about being cold and feeling miserable, as in trying to sound like you were on death’s door when really you just were having a sick day. Like I don’t think my mother ever told me to go cover up my extremities. Nor can i think of any other phrase we use it in. But I am from a family that plays scrabble with kids and uses many vocabulary words wrong. Hearing your describe it, I can now how silly it sounds. 🙂


heather... February 15, 2012 at 2:55 am

Extremity doesn’t really flow off the tongue. I use it, but it’s not normal. I give my point to MARINKA.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes February 15, 2012 at 7:25 am

I’m dutchspeaking so, no we don’t say extremities when referring to our hands and feet. You win, as you always should.


Joycelyn February 15, 2012 at 8:07 am

For the first time ever…
We do use the word extremities quite a lot, but only for hands and feet, never calves.
Can’t believe I am disagreeing with you, never happens on I’m right, you’re wrong.


Marinka February 15, 2012 at 8:48 am

Well, there’s always a first time, you traitor!

But I have two questions:

1. Please provide 1 or ten sentences wherein you “use the word extremities quite a lot.”

2. How long have you been in a conspiracy with Husbandrinka and Susan?

I rest my case.

For now.


Anna Lefler
February 15, 2012 at 8:53 am

Agreed! “Extremities” is wack.

Or is it “whack?”





Signe February 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

I say “extremities,” but I say a lot of “whack” things. You win anyway.


Selfish Mom
February 15, 2012 at 9:06 am

Neither. You should have told him to shut up and stop being a baby long before it got to that part of the conversation.


February 17, 2012 at 10:35 pm

What she said!!

It’s really a moot point anyway since his extremities should have been massaging your extremities during the evening of domestic bliss. Isn’t that the definition of domestic bliss?


linda February 15, 2012 at 9:09 am

extremitites!! are they auditioning for csi?


February 15, 2012 at 9:23 am

I thought “extremities” mean “penis.”


February 15, 2012 at 9:23 am

And why did I just sound like Mama?


KG February 15, 2012 at 10:05 am

I don’t say “extremities” that often, but I also don’t think it’s *that* odd to say it. I mean, it’s not like saying “cerebellum” instead of “head.”


NDK February 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I agree. “Extremities” is not that offensive, but it’s not something you’d say all the time.


sherilinr February 15, 2012 at 10:10 am

i use the word extremities regularly, but i’m always on the hunt for a bigger or more interesting word to use. like i call my fingers phalanges and if i’m referring to fingers and toes, i’ll probably say digits.


Becky Rice
February 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

Team Marinka


Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
February 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

I’m just amazed you live with a man stricken with illness who can utter anything other than pathetic moans of agony.

You win.


pam February 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

Noone says extremities when referring to one’s hands and feet. Perchance when referring to blatant little bitty mites that agravate, as it extreme it’ees


DawnA February 15, 2012 at 11:35 am

Oh Marinka you get the point on this one. I do not believe you should not refer to your feet and hands as “extremities” unless you are a doctor describing lack of blood flow.


DawnA February 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

That second sentence had one too many nots in it. Please disregard the second not.


Heidibide February 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Sometimes my extremities fall asleep. And I tell the world while I hop and flail about trying to awaken them.


kathy February 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Extremities = 4 syllables
Hands and feet = 3 syllables
Marinka = wins


Noelle February 19, 2012 at 3:03 am

That’s exactly what I was about to say!


Lisa February 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm

If my husband said the word ‘extremities’, I would think he was referring to his particular penile-extremity. Suggesting that I do something about it.

Which would get a dirty look. And I would ignore him.


Sueinithaca February 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm

I don’t mind the word extremities but am generally not that eloquent when feverish. Also, my name is also Susan and I’m a nursing student, so I just might be in on the conspiracy.


b a seagull
February 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Methinks Susan might have “been at the shelter” on the same night as Husbandrinka, thus having to take his (ridiculous) side.
I know- my mind is like a steel trap.


magpie February 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Extremities has more syllables than hands and feet. That is to say, you win. Of course.


Catherine Dabels
February 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

Oh Marinka, are we to be thus polluted with people who say “extremities” when referring to something so simple as their hands and feet?

Pray, tell.

They are not right. You are right. It is so.


mexmom February 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Me thinks you are right!! You don’t say extremities unless you are part of a tv show.. or if you are husbandrika or Susan, of course.


Jodi February 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Um, did you not notice he also used the word “anon”!? Can we discuss that one?


February 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Arms and legs is way easier and faster to say….and to type because I’d totally spell the e-x-word without spellcheck.


February 15, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Haha. I actually do definitely say extremities. I’m with Husbandrika and Susan on this one.


February 16, 2012 at 5:39 am

I never ever say extremities. I am also currently unblocking my drain with tweezers at 2:38 am. So I do not qualify as normal either…


February 16, 2012 at 7:05 am

We don’t use the word extremities. Nor the word calves. I think calves bothers me more. Say it 5 times fast. yuck.


Holly February 16, 2012 at 9:25 am

“Children. Put on these mittens and boots to keep your extremities warm. For when your extremities are cold, your whole body feels cold.” I think perhaps the nose is also an extremity, but I may be wrong about that. Calves are NOT extremities.


Holly February 16, 2012 at 9:27 am

“Children. Put on these mittens and boots to keep your extremities warm. For when your extremities are cold, your whole body feels cold.” I think perhaps the nose is also an extremity, but I may be wrong about that. Calves are NOT extremities.

I would say I use the term “extremities” at least four times a New York State winter, though less this winter as it’s been quite balmy and easy on the old extremities.


Hope February 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

Who wants to be normal, anyway?
I’m for vocabulary-building.


heather February 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm

totally use the word extremity…maybe more than just hands and feet are cold…encompasses arms and legs as well…


the mama bird diaries
February 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

definitely autopsy report material. Normal people should be saying, “hands and feet.”


Mary February 16, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’ve only heard it out of the mouths of doctors and coroners! You win!


Laurie February 16, 2012 at 5:53 pm

I do say extremeties but it isn’t usually just for my hands and feet. If my hands and feet were cold I’d probably say hands and feet but I use extremeties for those times when it is really more like my fingers, toes and nose that are cold. The very outer bits of me.

I do watch a lot of crime and medical drama though. Perhaps my vocabulary has become polluted?


Alexandra February 17, 2012 at 12:47 am

I have turned over a new leaf this year, and no longer lie.

I say extremities.

Even at how much I want you to like me and be like you, I have to tell you, I say extremities.


February 17, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Really? This many people are walking around this world saying extremities? Whats next…my bag keeps slipping off my clavicle? My boots rubbed a blister on my calcaneal? It’s all too much. Marinka wins.


Fairly Odd Mother
February 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Oh, I do employ the word extremity in just that manner. In fact, my extremities are quite chilly right now too! However, I also love the words verily and natch which aren’t said very much either.


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