Sunday, April 19, 2015
Sunday Sundries, 47
1. AOTW--It's time to be gender-neutral. (All my previous AOTW's have been men.) In a coffee shop the other day was a woman not three feet away from me (at another table), a woman who was Skyping/Face-Timing full voice (I'm sure everyone in the place could hear every word the AOTW said) for about forty-five minutes. It was a business call, one that featured about every rebarbative cliche in the field of enterprise and self-help. Here are a few I scribbled down (in my rage): Are you tracking what I'm saying? ... I see a clear path forward. ... We need more contextual input. ... operating model ... collegially ... we need to get to a place where ... we need to own it ... I'm just road-mapping here ....
By the end, I was ready to give her a road map--to you-know-where.
2. In a recent blog I had a little note on the expression kit and caboodle; here's what the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins says:
Kit, meaning a collection of anything, comes from the kit bag of a soldier, in which he had to carry all his belongings. The earliest record of its use is in England in 1785. Combined with boodle, it came to mean a collection of people. There's a difference of opinion as to where boodle originated, some authorities attributing it to buddle (which in turn was probably Old English bottel), meaning "bunch or bundle." Others think it came from the Dutch boedel, meaning "property." In this sense it has long been used by New England longshoremen. How did it become caboodle? Caboodle is said to be a corruption of kit and boodle. All of which certainly makes the whole kid and caboodle an all-inclusive phrase.
3. Last night (Saturday) we saw the film Child 44, based on the novel of the same name by Tom Robb Smith, 2008, a novel I read at the time and really enjoyed. It takes place in the USSR during Stalin's kind administration (!!!) and features a series of child murders--though no one in authority will admit that murder is even possible in such a political paradise. Then appears a cop who's developing a conscience. Good book. Good film. With Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, and Joel Kinnaman. With a screenplay by the great Richard Price (so you know the dialogue will be good!). Produced by Ridley Scott. Directed by Daniel Espinoza (Safe House). Here's a link to the trailer for the film. Some brutal scenes.
We saw it, by the way, at the Chagrin Cinema (one of the two places where we could find it within decent driving distance), a place we patronized often when we lived in Aurora (before the Aurora Cinemark arrived). Fun to be back there again. Good popcorn!
4. This week I finished re-reading Saul Bellow's 1964 novel, Herzog, which I'd read back in the mid-1960s but remembered very little about--except for the narrator's (Moses Herzog's) near-madness, his passion for writing letters to the quick and the dead. I enjoyed it this time through (though when Bellow riffs on famous philosophers, I tend to lose interest--probably shouldn't, but I do) and was moved by his struggle to regain some sort of stability in his fractured life--his failed marriages, his new relationship, his academic career (he'd written a landmark book, then stalled on its sequel).
5. Finally, is was the word-of-the-day from the OED on April 13, a word I'd never seen but am now glad I have!
Etymology: < classical Latin subr?dent-, subr?d?ns, present participle of subr?d?re to smile (see subride v.).
Chiefly literary. Now rare.
Characterized by or accompanied by a smile or smiles; wearing a smile; smiling.
1826 Sporting Mag. Dec. 132/1 A knowing and subrident look.
1884 Critic 22 Nov. 243/2 The Duke of Wellington..listens, mildly subrident, while the Peace Recruiting Sergeant..plies his profession.
1897 Athenæum 6 Mar. 305/2 With some subrident joy.
1914 W. J. Locke Fortunate Youth vi. 80 Your sense of humour, that delicate percipience of proportion, that subrident check on impulse.
1980 P. Howard Words fail Me vi. 44 The lion was presumably depicted heraldically subrident.