Friday, June 14, 2013

words :)

Today I am procrastinating, something at which I excel! Many people excel at procrastination of course, it is a tendency of most of humankind to put off that which causes stress or anxiety, or boredom. Of course what is seen as procrastination by one person may be considered a strong desire to first finish that book/game/puzzle/whatever has captured the attention before moving onto what actually needs to be done. Procrastination can be rationalised until it no longer feels like procrastination (level, BOSS). Then the person is in fact feeling virtuous that he/she is maybe cleaning out a box left over from moving instead of finishing that report that is due in two hours. This rationalisation can also be far more subtle. As an example of this, I am here writing this blog post. I am therefore honing my craft, exercising my brain and writing a blog that is overdue. I am feeling virtuous. BUT, I should be writing the werewolf book and making notes for the facebook novel. I intended to write the werewolf book and I purposely stayed home today so I could get a good several hours in.

Instead, I took a nap, rationalising to myself that I would write better if I had some sleep first. I had a terrible night last night and managed only maybe two hours sleep and so I really did need to take a nap. But if I had drunk some coffee and walked the dog early, I would have woken my brain sufficiently to be able to write.  Now I am writing this blog, again rationalising to myself that it needs to be written and it is much quicker than the hours I will spend lost in the werewolf book. It is a perfect example of procrastination.

Isn't procrastination a beautiful word? I remember when I first discovered that there is a word that describes that tendency to put something off until another time or day or week. I was amazed and also validated. If someone somewhere had coined a word for this behaviour that can take a whole paragraph to describe, then that meant it was commonplace. That meant that I was in fact normal for coming up with complicated ways to avoid doing something that often I quite enjoy doing (like writing). That's one of the wonderful things about words. That a single word exists to describe something that you can recognise in yourself means that you are in fact not alone in your weirdness.

Pusillanimous is another wonderful word that I was thrilled to discover. Until I knew that this word existed, whenever I thought about a person behaving in a manner that seemed wishy-washy or faint hearted, I had in my head a picture of Charlie Brown. I always felt a little bit guilty for thinking this, poor Charlie Brown was not really faint hearted, he was just drawn that way! Then I discovered pusillanimous, a word that rolls off the tongue in a delightful way, a word that I always imagine staring scathingly down its nose as it consigns another person to the sad realms of cowardice. And of course, the fact that this word exists merely underlines that it is a part of the human condition that we are all at times cowardly or faint hearted. Not just Charlie Brown.

Then there is slothful. There is another supremely descriptive word. Even if you didn't know what it meant, the tones in which it is delivered when describing your behaviour must surely give a clue as to the meaning. Slothful at its most basic means lazy, but isn't it such a more descriptive word than lazy? Lazy has only negative meanings, you can't escape from it, you'd better move yourself and get more active. Slothful on the other hand certainly means lazy, but in my head I also get an image of a sloth, and I am very fond of this slow moving creature. So I find slothful to be a friendlier word than lazy, a word which stings and cuts. Slothful is a kinder word, even though it describes a general disinclination to move much or expend any energy.

Articulate, another word to describe a whole paragraph of meaning. So much more intelligent sounding too, to say that person is articulate than to say that person is good with words. When you say that person is articulate you also sound like someone who is articulate! And hand in hand with articulate is vocabulary. I don't believe you can truly be articulate unless you have a good vocabulary. You don't necessarily need to have an extensive vocabulary, but you do need to have a full and thorough understanding of the words within your vocabulary. Indeed, there are many degrees of vocabulary that are fascinating to me, but for the purposes of this blog probably don't need to be delved into :)

So today I am procrastinating, possibly being a little pusillanimous (if you want to use it in the context of being wishy washy about starting my writing), also a little slothful since I did take a nap instead of taking exercise, and I hopefully have been articulate and demonstrated a sound if not extensive vocabulary! Words, sometimes they save a lot of explanation.

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