2.6.09

cranky

I like to think I'm a tolerant sort of fellow, perhaps even mellowing with age; but if I'm completely honest I'd have to say that the evidence doesn't always support the supposition. I'm just as capable of taking offence as I was thirty or forty years ago but, these days, far more likely to retaliate in kind than I was then, when I would usually suffer in silence. Retaliation is certainly more efficient in the short term; you feel bad about the (perceived) insult for a much shorter time. The down side is that you risk getting into one of those awful situations where your antagonist retaliates in turn and then it either runs out of control or you have to shut the whole thing down. Lately I've noticed a more worrying development. I've begun to feel resentful towards certain words. I think it was last year some time that the word imbue started to annoy me so much that, if anyone I was reading used it, I was likely to put the book, magazine, newspaper or whatever down immediately. Imbue. As if emotion were a stain dyed into the page. Maybe it is. Of course I realise the futility of campaigning against an innocent word and, after some effort, managed, if not to overcome, at least to control my distaste for it. But now I have another one: practice. In the sense of, methodology or regime of work. Sometimes I think if I hear another artist going on about their practice I will become not responsible for my actions. Poets are starting to use it too. My practice. The reverential self regard betrayed in the affection for the word is what irritates me. Who do they think they are, doctors? Lawyers? Dentists perhaps ... why can't they (I know this is unfair) stop practising and just get on with doing whatever it is they do? Why can't I ...


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2 comments:

Bronwyn Lloyd said...

Hey Mr grumpy socks - I've just done a word search of my thesis and found that I've used the word 'practice' 29 times! I think that's okay relation to a professionally trained career artist, but if you can think of an alternative, I'd be happy to hear it.

Ian said...

both of those are eminently justifiable, Martin - my query word of the moment is "fit" as in "such and and such 'fit' with my so and so" - am I missing something here ? what happened to "fitted" or "fits" ? Was there some tectonic shift in the verb 'to fit' which took place whilst I was asleep or in France or something ? can anyone help here ?