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August 13th, 2007

Happy Belated Birthday to jim_lane!

For your present, here's last Friday's Forgotten English (© Jeffrey Kacirk), as it's better than the weekend's:

absquatulate
To run away or abscond. A comic American word from ab and squat, to go away from your squatting. A squatting is a tenement taken in some unclaimed part, without purchase or permission.
--Ebenezer Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1898


[August 10:] Feast Day of St. Besse,
a third-century Roman soldier who later became a patron of draft dodgers. He "took French leave" of military service near Lake Geneva in Switzerland, sneaking off to preach to residents of the Soana Valley. Besse's successful absquatulation helped establish the long-standing Swiss policy of neutrality, although he was eventually killed by unimpressed alpine pagans. J. B. Lippincott's Everyday Phrases Explained (1913) offered some background regarding the sniping expression French leave, which reflected earlier Anglo-Franco relations: "To take French leave is to go off secretly, without formal notice or farewell. The French have a corresponding phrase [s'en aller à l'anglaise], to depart like the English. Both expressions date from the time [the 1770s] when an entente cordiale was never dreamed of, and each country had a very poor opinion of the other's manners."


-M. le Gneech
We're in the depths of summer.

People and events are flying at me left and right trying to eat up time doing this, doing that, going here, going there, every weekend and frequently on weekday nights for the next sixty weeks or more.

Too many people around here (by which I mean my physical location, not LiveJournal) are rock-stupid.

Any one of these is enough to make me stress out. Two of them in combination are enough to make me grouchy. All three combine into a serum potent enough to turn me into Mr. Hyde. But, as I spent pretty much all of yesterday and most of this morning with Mr. Hyde way too close to the surface, it is now officially time to chill.

I have no respect for people who can't be pleasant or at least civil to others who've done them no wrong. There are people, and mind you I know 'em, who think that whatever mood they may be in trumps manners, and will happily act like a total shit to people who should be their friends. Many (if not most) people are like this as kids, but most of us also outgrow it by the end of puberty.

I well know that being pleasant when you feel like crud takes a lot of energy, doubly so for introverts. And when I feel Mr. Hyde coming to the surface like he has been the past couple of days, I immediately recognize that as a sign of being too tired to keep him locked down in the dungeon where he belongs. But as I say, I have no respect for people who just let their Hydes out -- and that includes myself on those occasions when I fail.

So in order to retain my self-respect, it is time to step back, force myself to relax and rejuvenate a little, then kick Mr. Hyde in the junk and shove him down the stairs again. My mood does not trump manners, and it is the worst kind of selfishness to act like it does.

-The Gneech

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