WTF with the Latin?

It’s not purposeful. It should be. Everything should be. I read Marcus Aurelius’ The Meditations and he’s like, “Don’t talk so much” (paraphrasing obviously), and because I think that’s worthy of remembering, I write it down in my little black leather-bound $20 Moleskin man-journal:

Be not he who, when smaller words would suffice, chooses, for hoped-for elocution, words which maketh thee sound as if an anus is the organ defining the character of thine entirety. Genuflect at the altar of brevity lest thy have thy meanings mistaken such that Nietzsche’s Übermensch might be über displeased.”

It’s a disease. Probably genetic. Totally not my fault. My father, were he blessed with literacy, would have more published works than L. Ron Hubbard. My grandfather, were his hours-long phone chattering recorded, could have more tapes than Nixon.brain-meme

“Prolegomenon” is Latin, but the Latin was originally Greek, which was originally spittle-prone clicky-tics of the pre-Grecian land-to-fish peoples of the South Mediterranean. It means, basically, “introduction,” or “opening,” “overture,” “prelude,” “primer.” It’s a long word that could have been passed over for something shorter, like “preface,” but wasn’t, like I’ve explained. I found it on Google while looking up some other word. I did not know what it meant; I had never heard of it. It was to me, one could say, what Aleppo was to Gary Johnson. Except Latin…and a slightly less embarrassing revelation.

To prefer the five-dollar word to the fifty-cent word is to attribute the “five-dollar versus fifty-cent” coinage to Mr. Samuel Clemens rather than Mr. Mark Twain. It’s supercilious, or “snobby” for you plebeians. But it’s also what “talking politics” sounds like. There’s something about political discussions, whether you’re Michael Moore or William F. Buckley, that is superficial, subjective, narcissistically self-referential, and purposeful only if one can declare victory. But you can’t, because they never end. They are, in a word, mere introductions to a future conversation, ad nauseam.

As we are not CNN or FOX, this “series of political introductions” will strive to maintain the separation of the sensational and the mendacious, being political and correct but not politically correct, per se; i.e., honest but entertaining, useful and poignant but not unnecessarily over-the-top, preachy, or unwaveringly righteous when it can be avoided. Fair warning: sometimes some things cannot, despite admirable effort, be avoided.


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