Monday, January 29, 2007

Words, words, words

I am in the midst of a descriptive debate with a friend (whose identity I shall conceal since Lo, She Findeth Blogging Offensive...) over descriptive superlatives for attractive individuals. I am quite smitten with the qualities of Christopher Eccleston, and commented to her that I'm delighted that he is now on Heroes since I can no longer enjoy him on Doctor Who (One season?! Who does only one season?!)

She agreed and called him "hot" which bothered me excessively. "Hot" is what you call the buffed and brainless, not a genuine talent with an attractive personality that radiates through their skin. She took exception to this, saying that "Hot" is whatever you want it to mean in terms of attractiveness; she also prefers the brainy and personable over the brainless and built and so if she finds Eccleston "hot", then he is.

But the description is overused! I complained. It's commonplace - Paris Hilton uses it - it has no value. I suggested the more refined and complimentary descriptive of "Ambrosial," derived from ambrosia: food of the gods.

for example: "Christopher Eccleston is positively ambrosial in his new role on Heroes." (He's the one with the beard, BTW)

I suspect she will further contest the issue with me via email; but it got me to thinking about the dilution of other words. In the last week I've been thinking (as I have many times before) how we say "I love such-and-such" and how "love" has essentially lost the punch of any real meaning. Same with "awesome" - if something truly is Awe-some, it would knock us down. But when you use it to describe a pair of shoes... well, it's pretty much lost it's original meaning.

But as a result of the devaluation of certain words like love and awesome, lesser words have gained greater weight. Someone said the other day that they really "liked" me, and I found that a compliment of no mean order! To be liked means more to me than to be loved... isn't that odd?!

I should say, I'm not really bothered that words like "love" and "awesome" don't mean the same thing anymore - language is perpetually mutating, and societies will always come up with other words to communicate deep and important feelings. The Japanese language didn't have a word for love in the sense of modern, Western ideals of love until the 20th century; the best they could do prior to that was ai, which actually meant "duty"! Now they have some other words that get the job done, or they use the English "love". Words never stop changing, until they die from disuse and are fossilized in the OED.

Friday, January 26, 2007

I've Noticed...

One of the things I noticed in late December and early January, is that one of the greatest pleasures of the holiday has become the opportunity to complain about the holiday. Seriously - when I'm with various FriendClusters, the liveliest discussions always end up being about disappointing or dreadful Christmases!

Which in itself is a good thing, because while it's happening, we can tell ourselves, "this will make an AWESOME story!" Friend Jen has regaled several different groups with tales of her disastrous family Christmas, and has essentially won the award for Conflicted Family Ideas of What Christmas Will Be This Year.

So tell me your story! I would dearly love to hear it!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Where I Am

Sorry I haven't posted much lately... I've been living in Stressville, at the corner of Work and Weariness. It tends to redirect your attention elsewhere.

Plus, any writing I've been doing has been for the benefit of Eric Volz, who is being unjustly held in Nicaraguan prison on false charges. I try and write him every other day or so, since letters are what's keeping him going right now. I can't even conceive of what it must be like down there, and I don't think I really want to know. The best I can do right now is pray without ceasing and write lots and lots of letters.

There's a concert to raise money for his legal defense on Wednesday the 24th - you can read more about it on the site.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bollywood Blowup

As regular readers know, I love Stephen Colbert... well, he just did a bit on Celebrity Feuds (Trump & Rosie, obviously!) but the last section was about some of MY favorite actors, and so it was funny on so many levels...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The New Year

This rather accurately depicts my emotions around January 1st: