Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something I don't understand

Is why in every airplane I've ever been in, including new ones, there is an ashtray in the bathroom. Really, this makes about as much sense as holding an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at the local bar. Someone once gave me the rather lame answer that there needs to be a way for someone to put out a cigarette, just in case they happen to completely ignore all the warnings that "tampering with smoke detectors in an airplane lavatory is a federal offense."
And why do we use the word "lavatory" in this sense and this sense alone in contemporary English? Actually, the language is full of luscious and lugubrious words like lavatory that are woefully underutilized. How about bringing back the word emolument? One's emolument is one's collective wages and perquisities, or perks- although now the word in use here is usually "compensation." Now, I don't know about you, but I don't get "perky" when I hear the word compensation used to refer to both people egregiously affronted by a tort (or a torte if you don't like your repast at a Viennese coffeehouse) and people who have sold their labor for wages and perquisites.
Anyway, just something to chew over. I'm getting back into Carpe Diem mode this week, trying to hew to my perhaps overly ambitious schedule of learning 25 French words per day, and ten new English and German words a week. That doesn't sound like much, but I've also got about 25 other items on my weekly to-do list. Getting it all done is ambitious, perhaps, but if you know of a better way to bleib-im-Schwung, to harness the positive power of inertia, and increase personal efficacy in a way that leads to a superoptimal outcome in terms of both aggregated universal and personal utility, I'm all ears.
In other words, entelechy. The greatest word you haven't heard of. I'd tell you what it is, but better to look up the word on your own- entelechy is good stuff, and the closest I think one can come to summarizing the meaning of life in one word. More later.


Nolwenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nolwenn said...

Funny:your aim was 30 French words a day one month ago, and you wanted to increase it later...