Thursday, October 14, 2010

Stupidly Stupendous

In which our Heroine increases her Vocabulary.

First, a note: I hadn’t realized that I’d set the comments parameters so only blogspot/google users could write comments.  Oops.  Well, I changed it and now it is open to all readers.  No excuses, I claim stupidity on this one. What a stupendous mistake.  I hope this change opens things up to all my Latvian, German, Ukrainian, Tawainese, and Venzuelan readers out theremultilingual, but small in numbers though they be…
Secondly, a word about language.  Today at physical therapy I had the rare privilege of playing the Wii for a few minutes, playing games that focused on balance.  I received amateur status at best and was deemed “unbalanced” by the invisible God of the Wii universe.  I believe it was last week that my therapist used the word “unstable” to describe my uber-flexible wrists as they hyper extended yet again.   She is from Chile, and I have the feeling this word’s usage may have more to do with an unwieldy translation from Spanish.  Then again, maybe she has a degree in psychiatry too… Who knows.  I will say this though: Why is the word invalid (as in one who is ill, sick, ailing…) spelled the same as invalid (useless, worthless, unsound)?  I understand that both words indicate faultiness in the object or subject, but really, why does our society have to evaluate the sick on the same plane as the worthless? Also, what’s up with stupendous and stupid?  From, as refers to the word “stupendous”:
“Today's Good Word comes from Late Latin stupendus "stunning", the gerundive of Latin stupere "to be stunned". Stun is a semantically ambivalent creature in English, so it should come as no surprise that the Latin correlate was, too. Both words refer to a state of senselessness, as to stun fish, but both also allow the cause of the stunning to be something marvelous rather than insidious. Latin stupidus comes from the literal meaning, the mental condition resulting from a blow to the head. Today's Good Word is a result of the figurative meaning.”
You know, I had a blow to the head once tooliterally. It was not stupendous. 

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