Wordmisth’s Workshop

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Following the Waves

Published 07/09/2012 by Saint

There’s a slight sea mist and a silvery glint on the waves.
There’s a boat that’s come to shore with fishermen wading in the water, they cast a striking silhouette in the strange light.
I wonder where they live
If they’re happy
If they beat their wives
If they have affairs
If they have dreams of singing hard rock or opera
If they love the sea.

Some days are filled
With questions
Strange imaginings
Some days
Just drift
Like seaweed on the waves
On a still day

Some days every exchange you have
Is loaded and exciting
Some days you battle to find anything to say at all.

All life is a series of waves:
Tides coming in
Neap, high, low, spring
Currents pulling and dragging
Throwing you on the sand
Where sometimes you lie like Ursula Andress in her white bikini being kissed with lust
And other times you barely get your feet wet

But the tides carry on regardless of your involvement
With them.
They were here long before
We were born
They’ll continue long after
We are gone

I don’t know if I find that comforting
Or desolate
Does continuity recognise us
Or are we just foam
On the waves?


Mr Malaprop, Other Tales & Wordsmith’s Workshop

Published 15/02/2012 by Saint

I’m busy reading a book called Brothers by Bernice Ruben (highly recommended for anyone who like historical novels, for anyone who likes novels involving the Jewish diaspora [always wanted to use that rather pompous word] and for anyone who likes a book that makes him think and feel.  I’m only a quarter of the way in and I’ve found myself inexpressibly moved by quite a few scenes already.

Not to generalise but I do think the Jews are a people who can deeply and truly appreciate the dichotomy of the happy/sad/good/bad/evil/holy thing that is life.  They are also very good storytellers with a whimsical sense of the bittersweet ironies of life.

Speaking of words, I once had a boss who fancied himself quite the linguist (not a cunning one) and he would use words he thought were important and intellectual-sounding except he should have acquainted himself with Mrs Malaprop before he got started.

He mainly tried to use large words when he was attempting to make scathing remarks or embarrass people but landed up invariably embarrassing himself. He’s say things like “I’ve had enough of your idiocracy” (meaning idiocy) or, “I’ve had enough of this buffoonerism”, (buffoonery and spoonerism, perhaps?).

The more he foamed at the mouth the worse it got (usually I was taking handwritten dictation from him at the time whilst he was aiming these attacks, via me, so to speak, at someone who was sitting in the same room and who would shortly receive the memo I’d be typing up).

He was also well known for mixing metaphors to disastrous but hilarious effect….

He’d scream, “Your lack of unprofessionalism is egg on the face of this company’s eyes!”  (my lips would twitch and I’d bend my head closer to the shorthand notepad).

He’d get so carried away with his superior language skills he’d get up and start pacing about the room, to give himself, one supposes, more room and inspiration.  One would get some crackers from him at times like these.

“And if you cannot reprehend what I am saying then your mental abilities are comprehensible!!”

“The investigatorial skills you have are seriously unlacking”

Ah ja.  Too funny.  I really should have written every one of them down.

Speaking of words.  The word of the day is LACHRYMOSE. The Lachrymal glands are the tear ducts, or the glands that produce tears, as far as I know. Do you think the word Lachrymose came from Lachrymal or the other way around? Also, someone raised a good point the other day – we’ve all done a fair bit of weeping in our lives, s0metimes even to the point of utter exhaustion; so where do all the new tears come from?   And how does the Lachrymal gland know when to produce them?

lachrymose  (ˈlækrɪˌməʊs, -ˌməʊz)
1. given to weeping; tearful
2. mournful; sad
[C17: from Latin lacrimōsus,  from lacrima  a tear]