Word of the Day: fungible

In the depths of my writer’s block, I am saved, at least in the short term, by the annual appearance of that most sacred of celebrations. I can only be speaking, or typing, of one thing. That’s right. It’s SHARK WEEK!

Today’s Word:


As in:

As the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week ramps up for is 23rd annual celebration of all things cartilaginous, sharks the world over are popping up in all sorts of unexpected places.

“The likelihood that you might meet a terrestrial shark, also known as the ‘land shark,’ on your next trip to the mall is always increased during this time of the year,” said Discovery Channel spokesperson Maria Gonzales. “It’s a good time to see sharks that don’t come out very often.”

Other sharks you could encounter in the wild are the fungible shark, more commonly known as the “loan shark,” and a number of members of the family Sharpis Hustleris, which includes card and billiards sharks. 

Sadly, the weeks following Shark Week also bring an increase of shrks sightings in unemployment lines, and on street corners where the temporarily employed sharks are now forced into alternative forms of employment.

Sharks are turning up in coffee pots, jonesing for the caffeine to which they’ve become addicted working long hours on set. They’re circling in unemployment offices menacing bystanders into offering them food or other enticements.

Some of these creatures have set out jars and are cruising public areas with signs saying “Will Swim for Food,” “Give a brother a Bite,”  “Remember Shark Week!” and “Save a Shark: Make Every Week Shark Week!”

Seeing sharks in working on the streets is a reminder of the increasingly dwindling habitats for sharks, who are increasingly encroaching shorelines, looking for scarcer schools of their food sources.

Despite the efforts of events like Shark Week, people are still reporting that these creatures make them feel anxious and fearful, and seeing them on street corners is not making it any better.  “I like Shark Week just as much as the next guy, but, this is sorta creepy. I don’t like the idea of them taking unemployment funds from some hard working American, and I don’t like them circling around with their beady eyes and hollow stares, and huge gaping maws, lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth. Scary. It’s one thing when they’re on your TV in HD, it’s quite another when they’re right there, in your parking spot, and on the corner where you get a newspaper. Scary.”

I have to admit, I’ve never before really watched any of Shark Week, until last night. I had no idea it had been around as long as it has been, but, given its huge impact on popular culture I should have realized it had been around longer than The Simpsons, and the reunified Germany. Think about that for a moment, folks.

And, I admit, I took some liberties in the use of today’s word. It’s much more common than the typical word, so that I didn’t feel the need to be quite as clear on the meaning.

fungible / FUN – jeh – bull / being of such a nature that one part or quantity may be replaced by another equal part or quantity in the satisfaction of an obligation.