Thursday, 8 December 2016

The words to say it. Though they sometimes don't

Today I had some grapes that, unlike most of those sold these days, weren’t seedless. I wondered what to call them. Seeded? Hardly. Seedful? I’m not sure there’s such a word. Or ought to be. Seedy? Seems unfair. They were rather good.

Words aren’t always there when you need them. Expressions, too, can be slippery. The elephant in the room? Who has rooms that big? 

OK, some people do have rooms big enough~
but most of them, I suspect, are short of pachyderms
I always love “at the end of the day”. The one thing you can be sure of at the end of the day is that it gets dark. And don’t you admire people who say “if I’m completely honest”? Does that mean anything they tell you without that preface isn’t to be believed?

I once worked with colleagues who used to tell me, when they wanted a report or some other material written, “it doesn’t have to be War and Peace.”

Just as well. I’m not sure if I could bring the Battle of Borodino to life like Tolstoy. And in any case I suspect most of my colleagues would have found one of the films or TV series far more up their street than any War and Peace presentation I could have produced.

Then there’s an expression I use a lot. It helps me get started on jobs that are going to take a long time, and any job that’s tedious is long. I say, sometimes to myself, “I’ll just break the back of it.”

Gratuitously cruel, isn’t it? I mean, breaking a back? It’s a horrible thought.

But just think if the job’s particularly hard. If it’s back-breaking, say. Then I’d be breaking the back of a job’s that’s breaking mine. Where does that get any of us? You remember Gandhi? “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Breaking the back of the back breaking only leaves more of us crippled.

Like I said. Slippery things, words. And expressions.

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