Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Let us consider the word "Facebook." While this is not a word that you will find listed in the pages of any well-respected dictionary, we can give it thorough analysis and see the evolution of a word very clearly. Let us first look at the traditional definition (if such a thing exists).
1. Facebook - (noun)
Date: circa 2004
- A social-networking site created by Mark Zuckerberg where users can join networks organized by city, workplace, school, and region. People can also add friends and send them messages, and update their personal profiles to notify friends about themselves.
Now, as silly as this may seem, is a harmless definition that most would consider to be an accurate description of the word. However, I find myself often using the word "facebook" in a different way and have heard others do the same. "Facebook" has expanded beyond the confines of noun-hood and entered the world of the active verb. No longer do I just "log in to Facebook" or "look at someones Facebook." Rather, I say that I will "Facebook that person" or ask someone have they "Facebooked so and so." While the word is related, you never hear of anyone "Myspacing" someone. Instead, you "send them a Myspace message." Yet, one would sound antiquated or out of touch if you used a similar phrase describing the process of sending someone a message via the Facebook social-networking site.
While this is a seemingly childish example, I think it illustrates my point well. In a world where many people fall short of the mastery of language and oftentimes even have trouble following the basic rules to express their ideas in a clear and concise fashion, what is one to do to keep up when the words we use can fundamentally change in such a short span of time. Granted this is a limited example, but you can see other examples all around you when you consider them.
So, to close, I will give you an old maxim that has been somewhat revised.
"Say what you mean, mean what you say, and make sure that what you think you are saying still means the same thing that you think it does."
- The Apprentice Philosopher
Monday, July 20, 2009
4. Torpor \ˈtȯr-pər\ noun
Etymology:Middle English, from Latin, from torpēre
-a state of mental and motor inactivity with partial or total insensibility
-a state of lowered physiological activity typically characterized by reduced metabolism, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature that occurs in varying degrees especially in hibernating and estivating animals
Thursday, July 16, 2009
3. Eschew \e-ˈshü, i-; es-ˈchü, is-; also e-ˈskyü\ transitive verb
Etymology:Middle English, from Anglo-French eschiver (3d present eschiu) of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German sciuhen to frighten off — more at shy
-to avoid habitually especially on moral or practical grounds : shun
*I would like to point out my delight to hear Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor use this word during her confirmation hearings last week even though it was already next on my list of under-appreciated words.
2. Snarky \ˈsnär-kē\ adjective
Etymology: dialect snark to annoy, perhaps alteration of nark to irritate
-sarcastic, impertinent, or irreverent in tone or manner
*As I side not, I would like to point out the fact that my spell-check does not recognize the word "snarky" providing further proof that the word is vastly under-appreciated.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
1.Queue \ˈkyü\ noun
Etymology: French, literally, tail, from Old French cue, coe, Latin cauda, coda
-a waiting line especially of persons or vehicles
-a sequence of messages or jobs held in temporary storage awaiting transmission or processing
-a data structure that consists of a list of records such that records are added at one end and removed from the other
-a hairstyle in which the hair is worn long and gathered up into a pigtail. It was worn traditionally by certain Native American groups, Indian Brahmins and the Manchu of Manchuria.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Maybe we are just always tied to the pain. It follows us around and we ask those questions thinking that knowing will make it go away, when our only reward for our knowledge is to find there is still pain in the answers. One of my favorite movies says that life is pain. Maybe there is just no escaping it.
What can you do with the knowledge and the pain? Is there any way to make it go away? You can't return to that ignorance but then you aren't sure that you would want to. You need to tell someone but you dare not in fear of sharing the pain with people who don't deserve it. I guess you do like always, you just keep it inside. It is your oldest companion, and maybe your only one.
"Much of your pain is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self. " - Khalil Gibran
- The Apprentice Philosopher
Monday, January 5, 2009
This was a late night attempt at poetry, but it really speaks to how I feel sometimes.
An Old Soul
Some have told me before that I have an
I have always been confused as to
What that means, but I am beginning now to
I once believed it to be a compliment on some sort of
Wisdom beyond my years.
I was impressed by this and took it as a deep honor.
Yet, now I have encountered in various forms
Those few I would consider to be
And through these encounters have learned more about myself.
Whether through conversation in smoke filled rooms, or
The wonder of literature,
I feel a connection to these that reaches far beyond the confines of
Space and Time.
This connection assures me that they are in fact
Yet also hints toward the fact that I too am aged.
I have seen one score and one year, yet I feel much
Many would laugh and think this is the misgiving of a youth who
Doesn’t understand longevity.
My life has been full of more blessings than I could
And I will not pretend that
It could not have been worse.
Yet the age I feel goes beyond any count of years.
Socrates was undoubtedly an
Three score and ten years did he live and breathe and think.
And although his sentence was firm, he could have chosen
Yet, I think I could live twice as long as he
And I would not feel any different than I do now.
I feel weary of this world and this existence.
Not sad or depressed of my corporeality,
I have long struggled with my destiny and what the
Holds for me.
However, I now feel like my future is unclear because I am
Looking backwards instead of forwards.
Not longingly or regretfully,
But like one remembers places once visited or roads once traveled.
I don’t know, yet I suspect, that this is how Socrates felt when
He chose the hemlock.
What happens when an
Becomes weary of travelling the same roads?
When you feel your time wandering is drawing to a close regardless of
Any measure of success or failure.
Marcus Aurelius wrote that time is a river whose flow is ever
Yet, what happens when your youthful body becomes
With the feeling that you have ridden the length of the river
Over and over again?
These are not the desperate or suicidal ponderings of the depressed,
But the earnest queries of one who doubts that even the solace of
Can bring any rest for a weary
Such a simple yet so often misunderstood word.
Many have written of it and more desire it,
But few can truly give it
I will not make such an attempt but will only say that
While there may never be any
For being more weary of the world than one’s age allows,
Is the only thing that makes the age of your soul
No matter how Love crosses your path,
Don’t let it pass you by
And never let it go.
Yet, at the same time,
Remember that crucifixion is the
Ultimate price of Love.
There is not much more to say that can be said.
Maybe the true sign of being an
Is when you feel like there is so much you need to
Share with the world
But you can’t.
Not out of an arrogant desire to prove your wisdom
But out of some desire to validate your journey as meaningful.
Yet, you can’t.
Not merely because no words are enough to express true meaning,
But that something deeper within holds you back.
Keeps you from speaking from the only
You cannot escape.
The fear of ruining
Yours cannot be regained although you know in your
That you would not want it back though its price was
More than you ever agreed to.
Yet, though your very being begs you to release
Your innermost feelings and emotions to
Save the world from itself,
You cannot even force the words out.
The world has the capability to save itself.
But it has to make that choice itself.
An Old Soul.
I still am not convinced I know
What that means.
I am more persuaded that
I may never know.
Some say I have one.
I am beginning to believe them.