Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Words, Grammar and Redundancies III

NOTICE: The first and second parts of this title have already been posted, and may be seen by “scrolling down” the “elevator” on the right side of your screen, using your “mouse” and “left-clicking/holding” on the elevator.

Please read them first, in order, so to properly understand this one. Thanks.

I REALLY didn't think there would be a third iteration on this theme, but these thoughts keep swirling around in my head. I think maybe what triggered it was the new/large words I’ve noticed in the British mysteries I’ve been reading.

Such as: “nouveau riche”; “diffidence”; “insouciance”; “erudition”; “contumely”; “circumlocution”; “in situ”; “prolixity”; ad infinitum. (The last one was NOT on that list. It’s MY word. Means “goes on and on”.)

What do these words mean? I sometimes don’t know, so I look them up.

More: “loquacious”; “abstruse”; “ha-ha” “convivial”; “factotum”; “eremitical”; “capacious”; “truculence”; on and on.

I wrote these down in just the last couple of months of reading. Did I mention that I’m retired; my wife passed away last October; and I sometimes find it hard to “amuse” myself - so, since I enjoy reading, I go to the local library, and take out books - especially mysteries? I read some non-fiction too, as well as the Bible.

The non-fiction has included: “Lincoln and His Admirals”, a Civil War account; “The King and the Cowboy”, about Theodore Roosevelt and Edward VII of England; “Intrepid”, about the nation’s “most legendary warship”; “The Design Revolution”, about Intelligent Design; “The Language of God”, a treatise supporting “evolutionary creation”; “Christ in the Psalms”, by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon; “Julius Caesar”, his life; the Yalta Agreement, with Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill; accounts of General Washington and the Revolutionary War; et al.

Back to the words: Seems like a lot of new ones, right? Except that the list is nowhere near complete.

Look at these: “sardonic”; “castellated”; “modus operandi”; “prodigious”; “precocious”; “predilection”; “maladroit”; “assiduously”; and, as I say, ad infinitum. Remember - I have to look up most of these.

So far, there are 71 of them in my notebook - ALL from those mysteries.

And now, in between a few “spasms” of writing, I’ve read a little more, and have found 9 more “curious” words, including: “argot”; “aphorism”; “parvenu”; “crenellate”; “ineluctable”; “anodyne”; “condyle”; “coup d’oeil”; and “excarnation”. (not an American word, by the way.)


I’ve just had an epiphany (not in a religious sense) about WHY these British mystery writers use all these outlandish words! I think they KNOW that we Yankees read their books, and they just want to show us how much we DON’T know. What do you think? It’s a “nationalistic” sort of thing, don’t you know.

Going on -

Thinking about these words, and the related thoughts about them, I think I’ve concluded that I might be “nouveau riche with words”. “compris?” Or, “comprendez vous?” or Do you “ken”?

Let me help you: “nouveau riche” is described as a person who “likes to display newly acquired wealth”. then, “nouveau riche with words”, MIGHT mean that I like to “display” new words. Or, in Mechanicsburg slang, “Show off!”

Do you dig that?

If you know me very well, or, have read most of these “blog postings”, I’m sure you’ve discovered that.

But………wait a minute! Is that bad? One of my faithful “blog” readers says, “But Mike, that’s what makes you, you.”

Well, at least it does reveal some things about me. (I hope there are no psychologists reading this.) Some may feel it’s bad, and some may even be disgusted with me for doing this.

But, I have to re-state what I said in the first iteration of this subject:

“a ‘gabby’ person like me doesn’t have to make sense, or impress anyone with ‘material’ or ‘pertinent’ stuff. He just has to get something off his (or her) mind. If someone is interested enough to read it, it’s a ‘plus‘, but not a requirement for the ‘gabby’ person to feel fulfilled. Got it?”

So… flawed that I am, I will probably still write these postings to the “Grandpa Mike” blog, in order to “get something off my mind”.

By the way, no one has told me yet how my blog site came to be called “Grandpa Mike”. Understand……..I don’t object to it, since it fits me, but I REALLY don’t know how it got named that. Any thoughts?

I am again reminded of: “Do nothing through strife or vain glory, but let each esteem others better than himself.” Philippians 2:3

Oh boy!

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