Friday, January 26, 2007

"J.B. says . . ."

Ok . . . this post is going to require a little reader participation . . .

Jamin was a person who rarely lacked words. It wasn't that he was talkative . . . its just that he could usually enter and contribute to any conversation regardless of the topic. But, don't be deceived - this talent was developed through years of active listening, perceiving, and learning about people, places and cultures different than his own.

What is more important to realize, though, is that Jamin was not only able to contribute when most people would be tongue tied but when he spoke people listened! Whether giving a presentation to his supervisors, delivering a speech at a ceremony, explaining how to do your job better, discussing his views on politics Macintosh computers, or just sitting around a table with friends . . . Jamin always seemed to ADD to the scenario rather than make you want to pull away. His words were often intelligent, insightful, wise, helpful, witty, kind, encouraging, funny and more often than not; thought provoking. Just by listening to him you would tend to think before you spoke and rearrange words in your head just so your sentence structure sounded as polished as his when it exited your mouth. I have even spoken to numerous people over the last month that have told me that they would spellcheck, proofread, and all around agonize over the wording of a simple friendly email just because they wanted to live up to the standard that he had set for using language properly.

As many of you know Jamin was fluent in English, French and who knows how many computer languages. (And when I say he was fluent in English I mean that he properly knew how to use a semicolon, could correct you on your grammar, read the dictionary for fun and practiced word pronunciation). As if that wasn't enough he also was proficient in Spanish and as I understand it was picking up the German language pretty well in his 2 and a half years over there. That was Jamin the linguist. However, I think that many of you may more fondly remember Jamin the goof.

It never ceased to amaze me how even with all of the choices of vocabulary and the skill for poised speaking Jamin's everyday language more resembled that of an 8th grader using terms that I thought had been retired after the '80s, and superlatives like they were going out of style. Occasionally there were times when it was as if all of the words in the world weren't enough to describe this world that brought Jamin so much joy and so he would create his own.

One particularly quirky thing that Jamin used to do was to refer to himself in the third person in speech or in writing (i.e. "Jamin says . . ., or "J.B. thinks . . ." see the post about Lasagna for a great example of this in action). We as a family could never quite figure out how all of this fit into the personality of an otherwise very well polished individual. But, I think that is what we all found so endearing about him. You knew that he could speak correctly if need be, but more often than not it just stifled the enthusiasm that was so Jaminesque.

Below is a list that I have compiled of some of the most frequent or favorite sayings that I remember from Jamin. Can't you just hear him now saying:

Checkitout! or Check! it! OUT!
totally rad!
so great!
the best!
the best EVER!
that's hot!
tasty fest!
out of control!
for crying out loud!
you guys

I am sure that I am missing some of his best phrases so if they come to mind please let me know.

The best part of this list is that you could probably create a whole Jamin sentence or even paragraph by just using these words (and a few prepositions or nouns for filler). For instance:

OOOOOOOOOO MAAAAAANNNNN! checkitout! I mean seriously folks . . . isn't this just like the BEST thing you have EVER seen! It's totally out of control! (just add the emphatic "emmmph" noise (its hard to spell but I think most of you will know what I am talking about) - with closed mouth and big eyes on to the end of it and that is all that you need to begin speaking "Jamin")

Ha, ha. Oh how I am going to miss that voice.

I welcome your own memories of his unique language, your attempts at forming a Jaministic sentence or even examples of this from emails, texts, or letters that he has written to you over the years (just post them in the comments section below).


Becky Wilson said...

Molly, you've got it down. But you forgot "That's so great!" as in,"Oh man, mom, that's so great!"

Sarah said...

Great list Molly! Here's some others - gasp, sigh, alas, spiffy, indeed! rather, perhaps... (always proper!) and if I taught him a "new" word - pulchritudinous for example, he would use it in as many sentences as he could. I also remember he often spelled "weird" like "wierd," but I think he may have done that just so it would make me feel better about my own grammar and spelling. I used to triple check everything I ever sent him - even wrote several drafts of the letters I sent :)

Unknown said...

ha, ha . . . thanks Sarah! I had forgotten about his frequent use of onomatopoeias. I guess this is an appropriate place to also mention the many noises that he would make to emphasize a point or simply just as a way to expel some energy. I wish that I had a way of describing these sounds but I think it is one of those things that those who knew him will remember on their own.

In terms of "weird" vs. "wierd" . . . I think that this might have been prompted by homestarrunner (whom Jamin enjoyed very much). If you've heard homestarrunner say "weird" he says it actually like "wii-ered" ha, ha or something like that.

Becky Wilson said...

This just popped into my head the other day-- "I'm tellin' ya what!

Share Your Memories

This site has been created for friends, family, and co-workers of Jamin Wilson to share their memories, photos, and videos of this incredible man. Feel free to comment on any posts that have already been created. However, if you would like to be added as a contributor to this blog please send me an email at Please include your name and your relationship to Jamin so that I can add you to the list. This will allow you to upload text, photos, or videos whenever a memory comes to mind.