mjj (flemmings) wrote,

"When I consider how my light is spent..."

Those people who decry the use of a thesaurus are young whippersnappers. There's a perfectly valid reason for using a thesaurus. It's that maddening tickling sensation that I *know* there's a word for this, the precise and exact word, but my aging hormone-fuzzed brain no longer supplies it automatically the way it did twenty years ago, or even ten. I hate that feeling, and I hate trying to find the near-approximations under which the real word might be listed in Roget's, and I hate it worst of all when it's phantom word pain: the word doesn't in fact exist, I only remember it doing so. Ths must be what athletes feel like when their reflexes start to slow down. Mournful: Omukute darui jinsei dake datte sa. (Is distracted by the shiny: are you serious about who sung that? Wow, the man gets around.) (Is distracted by the geeky: why is there no good English translation for darui? Possibly because we don't have a common-use word, any more than we do for the extended uses of genki. I think we say 'I feel bleh' instead, or at best 'lethargic'.)

Mind you, the people who read the original pixel-stained technopeasant rant and sneered 'The guy must have worn out his thesaurus' are beyond whippersnapper and into infantile. It may pass the understanding of those who learned their vocabulary from television and Sweet Valley High, but truly, some people know all those words, and use them, from their own quite genuine reading experience.

That said, more cheerfully, there's nothing to restore vocabulary like reading Aubrey Maturin: and ohh there's so much of it to read. (Goes off to restore vocab.) (And that's an example right there. My mind gave me only 'revive' and 'return', and I had to find 'restore' in the thesaurus.)
Tags: language, wank, writing-moan

  • (no subject)

    You know, I don't think I've ever seen a copy of Yoshitoshi's Sotoba no Komachi for sale and I probably wouldn't have bought it in my giddy thirties…

  • (no subject)

    The result of refusing to get up at 8-whatever a.m. and going back to sleep for another three hours was to get me a dream of being in not!Japan,…

  • (no subject)

    The Guardian page has gone back to its former layout, DW has gone back to its former layout, the keypad has gone back to its former fonts, and…

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded