Friday, August 25, 2006

Words are wierd

As mentioned previously, was raised as a solitary boy on an isolated farm. Words were not a high priority, nor even particularly necessary. Cows, horses, sheep, dogs and cats did not respond to words in any meaningful way, though they understood Tone well enough (perhaps I should have become a musician), and were smart enough to quickly decipher body language. Kangaroos, wallabies, and crows really only responded to gunshots. (no rabbits where I grew up, but wallabies were the sort of equivalent).

Since there was no one to actually “talk” to or discuss anything with (apart from my parents; one whose vocabulary consisted of 'yup', 'nup' or 'maybe' - the other whose fashion sense was firmly 'twinset-and-pearls', library limited to the magazines "New Idea" and "Woman's Weekly") - I read (red?) a lot of "other stuff" and listened to the radio. Did I develop an “imagination”? Probably, but have lost (or neglected) it somewhere along the line. (have spent far too much time in cities, where “images” are fed to me daily, the struggle to keep expenses somehow close to income is overwhelming - so have become lazy and let that aspect of the mind, lapse .. sort of. “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio ..”)

So, many things have prompted this post but, as a slow typer (ist?), am not fully able to address them all in detail.

(um, one of the words that interests me is "able", ability. Have yet to figure out why "handicapped" became "dis-abled". From my point of view a 'handicap' is
something given to those with 'greater' ability than the rest of the "racers".)

Another of the words that has fascinated me recently (well, for some time) is the change in “meaning” of the word “indigenous”. (hey, I am an indigenous Australian. Not indigenous to the States of Victoria, Queensland, W.A or N.T. .. nor even Adelaide perhaps; but am indigenous to South Australia. Am not, however, aboriginal. Ah, the machinations of “Political Correctness”.)

The other word that is beginning to fascinate me is a “newish” one. Islamunism.
Somewhat softer in tone than “Islamo-fascist” - but with over (or under) tones of "communism". So, will have to wait and see whether “Islamunism” has legs enough to “stay the distance”.

Another word that has recently been brought to my attention is a very old word; “qualification”, which sort of links back to my previous post.

Was greatly amused by an EX-Attorney General (politician), trying to explain the words politicians use, and why they can't tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” (a clip of Rod Quantock in superb satirical mode was shown in response) .. but choked and spluttered on a mouthful of Cabernet - well, actually a mouthful of Coopers Extra stout .. well no, didn't have a mouthful at the time, but half a bottle was on the coffee table – when a “professional” spin doctor told us “No, we don't tell lies. My professional reputation relies on integrity. What we do is massage the message.”

What the hell is a “qualification”? (apart from me putting phrases and words in “quotes” or round brackets).

Am quite proud to be recently awarded “qualifications” by a respected, and obviously learned, erudite, articulate and wise academic .. but he rapidly took them away when he thought that I told him he was talking mostly bullshit, and whatever I write can stand on its own, my responsibility. So, should I now be remorseful, that my “qualifications” were taken away? ..Am, in some respects, capable of creating my own "qualifications". (Heh .. sorry G, just couldn't resist that one).

So, what is a “qualification”. A certificate on a wall? A way to politely dilute words or a series of words? A longwinded, but disciplined, way of expressing a thought, or series of thoughts?

Am not an Academic. Do not have the discipline (or have become lazy). My thoughts are a swarm of bushflies contained in a cranium. Have not been trained (nor can I train them) to all land on one idea at the same time, swat them, then present the result as squished, but coherent.


Link said...

. . .[thoughts] "to all land on one idea at the same time, swat them, then present the result as squished, but coherent."

That's what a qualification gives you. but the coherent part doesn't necessarily follow. One must also massage this thought so to fit it neatly in with one's ego, biases, upbringing, political persuasion, religious beliefs or the lackthereof, popular and populist ideas, and coming in equal tie with the ego, the concept of will this thought and the expression of it make me rich?

Unless you have one of these qualifications your words mean nothing. So give yourself one and quote it often.

kathy said...

yeah i too think words are wierd. where they come from and root meaning is facinating. why can't we make up our own words? who has the Authority to say no or yes? lol i make up words sometimes...but people look at me funny. I can't do that i guess...but the rebel comes out in me!

loved the post Davo :)

Anne Johnson said...

If you look at it on paper, I have the qualifications to be a superbly successful person. In reality, I used the paper when I ran out of toilet tissue 10 years ago.

Davo said...

Heh, had a friend once wo was a "certified" nut-case (he had the certificate to prove it). His favourite saying was "It can't fall down, there's nothing holding it up."

Sounds like a reasonable qualification, might pin it to the wall.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I spent forty years teaching, mostly about words and how to use them, and I don't know any one who could have written this better. I say that without qualification, or with the minor qualification that - ------.

Davo said...

Good one 3score :-). Methinks that everything outside of, or beyond, my own experience is all a bit .. well .. academic. heh.