I never lose my keys

I've lost my keys.  

My, it takes a long time to look for something you can't find.  Wasteful.  Upsetting. Nerve-making.  I'd say 'Think about it tomorrow,' but tomorrow comes very soon as I swim between 6 and 7 a.m. and I need my magic fob to open the electronically locked door to the pool.  Other than that, how was my day?  Lot of thinking,  laundry, more thinking, bit of shopping, more thinking - and then I quit. I'll think tomorrow.

I finally started to clear my Paper Desk over the weekend, culling and filing, and stashing follow-ups on a to-do pile.  I found some blog ideas, too, and here's a topic dear to my heart: Rules for Good Writing.  I own (and read) a lot of books on grammar, style, principles and foibles, the latter being the  personal preferences of well known writers.  The idea is that nothing succeeds like success and as long as they keep selling books they can say anything they please, and they do.  I was at a horrible gathering of editors -  official, professional members of the Canadian Association of Editors or some such.  My own editor at the time invited me to come, thinking that I might enjoy it.  I did not.  I was treated as an intransigent miscreant, perpetrator of egregious errors and lapses of taste, who must be gently but forcibly led to copy perfection, guided by one of these superior minds without whose corrections I would be a complete failure.  I felt like a piece of meat. I was Exhibit A, the Writer, referred to in the third person as if I weren't there.  

But see - A Famous Writer's idiosyncrasies were passed with indulgent smiles. They cited one we all know. Apparently Margaret Atwood used toward  and towards indiscriminately and when called on it, said she made her choice depending on how it sounded in a sentence. The online authority says toward without the ess is  just a variant of towards, which can be geographical. attitudinal or contributory.  I pass. I don't always. I once fired a copy editor  - twice actually, different editors, one with a book publisher and one with a magazine.  Each of them had corrected copy of mine, substituting errors. Grrrr.

For ten years after I graduated with a Masters degree in English, I marked essays for my favourite college professor for pin money. I think the pay was 55 cents per essay and it was welcome. (Well, hey, a loaf of bread cost 9 cents a loaf then.)  Those essays were the reason I never learned to watch hockey.  I would sit and read my essays and Bill would sit in his chair facing the TV with the hockey on but without audio so we could be together.  I know it sounds smarmy but it's true.  That's not the point.  I used a text book entitled Mastering Effective English.  This is how I could justify my treatment of two copy editors.  I'm a pretty good copy editor myself. 

But I've lost my keys. 


comfort in words

It's so comforting to have words to look up and think about and focus on and take my mind off my troubles.  Everyone has troubles, I keep reminding myself, even you. Fortunately, I still have words to resort to.  I'm on the last 100 pages of my summer thriller (Black Eagle and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West), still loving it and still finding words, both old and new, to savour.

Gummidgery - hey, I need help with this one.  It was described as purple, but the online dictionary is blank. I'll try my dictionaries of slang - later.

cuncatory - another blank.  It has something to do with guile. Maybe the big OED will help.

galimatias - oh dear.  No idea of the context.

Found a nice expression: "sleight of mind". I'm sure it takes much mental dexterity than the physical exigencies required by sleight of hand.  I remember  Malcolm Gladwell estimates that one needs 10,000 hours of practice before one can truly (?) -  almost - qualify as competent, let alone expert  -  in anything.  Talent would help, too. 

 bubo noun (pl.buboes) a swollen inflamed lymph node in the armpit or groin.  DERIVATIVES bubonic |bjuːˈbɒnɪk| adjective  ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latin, from Greek boubōn ‘groin or swelling in the groin’.  [I guessed this one though I have never used it, but knew the description of bubonic plague.

profiline:  Well, it's from profile, I guess, though this word is not given credit as an adjective .  The noun has several definitions:  1 an outline of something, especially a person's face, as seen from one side: the man turned and she caught his profile.• a vertical cross section of a structure: skilfully made vessels with an S-shaped profile.• Geography an outline of part of the earth's surface, e.g. the course of a river, as seen in a vertical section. in soft rocks a profile drawn normally to the beach would show a concave form comparable with the long profile of a river.• a flat outline piece of scenery on stage.    2 a short article giving a description of a person or organisation: a profile of a Texas tycoon.• (on a social networking website) a user's summary of their personal details or current situation: he posted the pictures on his Facebook profile.           3 [ in sing. ] the extent to which a person or organisation attracts public notice: raising the profile of women in industry.4 a graphical or other representation of information relating to particular characteristics of something, recorded in quantified form: a sleep profile for someone on a shift system.• a record of a person's psychological or behavioural characteristics, preferences, etc.: they had been using personal details to build customer profiles.verb [ with obj. ]1 describe (a person or organisation) in a short article: he was to profile a backbench MP.2 represent in outline from one side: he was standing motionless, profiled on the far side of the swimming pool.• (be profiled) have a specified shape in outline: a proud bird profiled like a phoenix.• shape (something), especially by means of a tool guided by a template: (as adj. profiled) : profiled and plain tiles.   PHRASESin profile (in reference to someone's face) as seen from one side: a photograph of Leon in profile.   DERIVATIVES  profiler noun:  profilist noun    ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from obsolete Italian profile, from the verb profiler, from pro- ‘forth’ + filare ‘to spin’, formerly ‘draw a line’ (from Latin filare, from filum‘thread’).       [I like it.]

iconostasis noun (pl.iconostases |-siːz| )a screen bearing icons, separating the sanctuary of many Eastern churches from the nave.  ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from modern Greek eikonostasis, from eikōn ‘likeness’ + stasis ‘standing, stopping’.  [ Rebecca West saw a lot of iconostases during her two-month travels in the Middle East.  I knew this word by the time I looked it up, I had seen it so often.]

crepitate |verb [ no obj. ]make a crackling sound: the night crepitates with an airy whistling cacophony.  DERIVATIVES  crepitant adjective   ORIGIN early 17th cent. (in the sense ‘break wind’): from Latin crepitat- ‘crackled, rustled’, from the verb crepitate, from crepare ‘to rattle'.  [I think this means fart.]

lustral  adjective: relating to or used in ceremonial purification. in certain contexts, lustral basins are more plausibly interpreted as bathrooms.   ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin lustralis, from lustrum.  [I love it. It's the kind of euphemism that West would use.]

Aperol -  I came across this elsewhere. It's a brand name, I think, and it is an aperitif,  suggested to be mixed with champagne and a twist of orange. Sounds okay.

addiction   noun [ mass noun ]  the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity: he committed the offence to finance his drug addiction. addiction to crack cocaine is spreading. [ count noun ] : an addiction to gambling.      ORIGIN late 16th cent. (denoting a person's inclination or proclivity): from Latin addictio(n-), from addicere ‘assign’.

FACEBOOK.  That's what it is. An addiction.  I must be stern. i must give up Facebook.  Or at least set limits.

Who ever said life is easy?  No one.  It's not.