According to the prevailing beliefs of the nation he oversaw, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is himself being judged right now, his good deeds and repentances weighed against his bad calls. There is considerable discussion back here on earth about his lifetime of work and its impact, as well as the usual chorus of do-gooders insistent that to speak ill of the dead is disrespectful. Unlike Scalia, we are told to reserve judgment for a higher authority.
That got me thinking about what judgment is, where it came from and how we appoint those who administer it.
My husband makes fun of the English because they call most desserts “pudding.” And he is right. It is quite ridiculous that cake, pancakes, lava cakes, and cheesecake are all called pudding; but it’s also ridiculous that they’re all called cakes. Adding to the complexity is Yorkshire pudding, which is savory and eaten with the meal.
Fair point, husband. But what about America’s obsession with boxes?
I am having one of those days when I sharply and sincerely regret getting out of bed. Comprising a soaking wait at the bus stop, a tooth injury, a soggy two-hour commute into work, a setback at the office and the discovery that a leaky roof had caused rain to flood my garage, I am having a pretty awful day. And it’s only 2pm.
Usually, my style is to get angry, then determined, then break all the problems apart with my bare hands until they’re fixed. Today, though, I won’t do much about any of this. I’m enervated. I’m deflated. I’m blue.
Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in my own head. Grieving the matriarch of the family, who died this month, and beset with some big work and personal challenges, I have retreated into my worries. A kind of everyday, pedestrian sadness has me speaking only when spoken to and avoiding connection when it is offered.
So when my friend Leah suggested I discuss insouciant as my Word of the Day, my interest was piqued. What is insouciance, really? What is it like? Have I ever had it? Is it eligible for Amazon Prime?
A friend introduced me to the word tidge today. I had never heard it before but from the context I knew he meant a small amount so naturally, I mistook it for a mis-spelled smidge. As is turns out, the words are closely related but when I started to research tidge, I realised its etymology is evocative of the history of English – especially the way Australians use it.
If the English language were a person, it would surely be a hoarder.
I can see him holed up in a dank flat with words he had found in the gutter the day before scattered across a table of phrases from the 1600s that are infested with foreign word lice.
There is so much regional variation in our language it is a wonder we understand each other at all. Though what interests me most is when words diverge into two paths, often close enough to be confused, and why so many of these words are so very naughty.