Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wordy Major

From You Know Where You Are With; a word-meme. Like she says - if you're reading this, you're tagged.

A word I use too much: stop
A word I should use more: love
A word I wish I used more: luscious
A word that hurts my ears when others say it: text (as a verb: “I’ll text you”)
A word that doesn't feel right in my mouth when I say it: dissatisfied
A word used too much in novels: vision
A word that's used too much in newspapers and magazines: center-right
A word that's used too much in broadcast news: terror/terrorist
A word used too much in poetry: softly (or pretty much any other adverb)
A word that evokes a visual image for me (other than the word itself): tintinnabulation
A word that evokes for me a taste (other than the word itself): copper
A word that evokes for me a smell (other than the word itself): rucksack
A word that evokes for me a tactile sensation other than the word itself: teazle
A word that evokes for me a sound other than the word itself: night
A word I'd like people to use about me: peaceful
A word I think more people should be aware of: gay (as something other than a term for homosexual)
A word that makes me feel stupid: praxis
A word that makes me feel smart: superjacent
A word I remember learning as a kid: exit (the first word I spelled and recognized, age 4)
A word I say just for fun: bibblebabble

(NB: "wordy/woordy major": Indian army rank equivalent to US Command Sergeant Major (Battalion)/UK Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM))


You Know Where You Are With said...

My aunt had a dog named Teasle--after the herb, I guess. I always loved it.

Lisa said...

"Exit" is a very helpful word -- you were a smart little boy.

"Peaceful" is an excellent choice as a self-descriptive; oh that more people did not see that as a valuable primary attribute.

FDChief said...

YK: My mother has always been intrigued by this common roadside plant; I must get it from her.

Lisa: I think it has something to do with the way we equate power and force. We assume that "peaceful" means "passive" or submissive. But some of the most purposeful people I know are also the most tranquil; having mastered themselves, they feel no need to rush about domineering and mastering others.

Lisa said...

Tranquility + purpose yields great strength (premise of the Tao, Akido, etc.). Have you seen the book, "Power vs. Force"? A bit abstruse, but I believe the message is that using discernment and gaining a correct moral position enables one to access more "power" (=strength) than using force alone would.

I recall pleasantly a very large, imposing male student (who had done some jail time) standing up and declaring to a rowdy class, "Don't mistake Ms. L's kindness for weakness." Whoa -- that was a showstopper.

(my grammar in previous post is a mess, but you know what I meant.)

FDChief said...

"I recall pleasantly a very large, imposing male student (who had done some jail time) standing up and declaring to a rowdy class, "Don't mistake Ms. L's kindness for weakness." Whoa -- that was a showstopper."

GREAT story. I hope you helped him with his hall monitor election campaign..!

And yes, a lot of my thinking about this has been influenced by my martial art, kendo (my bride calls my personal religio-philosophical orientation "Zen Hedonism" although, like you, I prefer to consider myself "Epicurian"). I like the idea that when you have stripped yourself down to your essence and determined you own central position - call it "chi", call it "enlightenment", call it "grace" - then you have found a deep foundation that provides power and energy without the need for violent action. But that, when action is needed, also provides the base from which you can take action and still remain within yourself.

My kendo sensei once said, apropos of all that sound and fury "Why would you run around trying to arrange the affairs of others when you can't find your own heijoshin?", that is, the notion of external action substituting for internal revelation is ultimately pointless.

Lisa said...

Oh yes -- he won hall monitor!

Your sensei's statement is a very good one. I like the idea of being stripped down and free of self-imposed constraint. A "Zen epicurean." Many of us are so anxious and fearful of being alone.

To have this strength requires the willingness to enter into a certain solitude, and the ability to turn one's back on the idle chatter which is so much a part of our being in the world.

FDChief said...

Lisa: The excessive and unrelenting noise our culture generates is, ISTM, one of our biggest failings and, perversely, a great strength.

All that noise is indicative of great vitality and interaction. But it sure does discourage any sort of reflection or the sort of self-knowledge that comes, as you suggest, from slow, quiet, often solitary thought and introspection.

Kids don't help in tht respect, either. Though they make up for it in lots of other ways...

Lisa said...


I seem to need a lot of solitude. It is not that I don't like people; I do. I guess I'm a bit of an introvert. As you say, the chatter implies interaction, but when I listen in, not much is being communicated.

Around these parts, the cell phone conversations begins with the obligatory, "Where you at?" (ending on a preposition has never hindered them), and ends on the predictable, "I'll be home in half an hour." A lot of positional determination going on. Geographical distance, distance up and down the hierarchy -- positioning seems to matter, and ascertaining it seems to comfort people.

The introvert in me sees people as so many great apes in a troupe, happy to be in consanguinity with each other, needing to echo or groom or whatever. But I can only do that for so long. When a girlfriend begins the shoe discussion, I'm really not there.

*sigh* A ramble. Yeah, I imagine kids erase solitude to a large degree, but as you say, they bring other joys.

Lisa said...

"The introvert in me sees people as so many great apes in a troupe"

. . .apes in a "troop." Troop. They are not union employees on the Catskills circuit.

Why did I awake at 3:58 a.m. with the knowledge that I had written "troupe" vs. "troop"? The mind is a convoluted thing.