Say One Thing And Mean Another

The word I want to share with you today is one that is rather confusing.  At least it is to me.  I recognize the root of the word.  And that is what throws me off track.

The word is restive.  Restive and rest both come from the same Latin root restāre.  But, somehow in their travel through time, they have become so distance that they actually mean quite the opposite!

Restive [res tiv] is an adjective that means fidgety, restless, uneasy, edgy, in suspense, jittery.

When I think of the word ‘rest,’ I think of something that rejuvenates.  Something that is tranquil or peaceful.  Restive is anything BUT restful!

I have seen restive connected to the restless leg syndrome.  I don’t have that syndrome, but I sure get the jitters in my legs and it is very difficult for me to sit still.  Restive certainly describes THAT situation.

If you are awaiting a decision or answer from your boss, your parents, or a marriage proposal, you could be restive — uneasy or edgy —  until you get your answer.

If you are reading a suspense novel or watching a thriller movie, you could be restive (uneasy, in suspense) as you await what is going to happen next.

The next time that I get the jitters, I’ll tell myself to be restful and not restive!  (Think that will help?  Probably not . . .)

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No Fun with Fungible

I’ve been reading Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman.  Interesting book.  He used the word fungible which I didn’t know.  So, I gamboled to the dictionary.  Most of the time when I come across a word that is new to me, I am delighted with it.  I want to write about it here.  I put it on my fridge as the word of the day.  But this time, fungible let me down.  Sure, I’ll write about it here.  But I don’t believe it will make it to my fridge nor into my everyday conversation.

Fungible [fuhn-juh-buhl]is an adjective that means being of such nature or kind as to be freely exchangeable or replaceable, in whole or in part, for another of like nature or kind.  Something that is exchangeable or substitutable.

Friedman talked about fuels being fungible in a world market.  Most of the time, my conversation does not include discussions about fungible fuels.  Tried that once.  The person I was speaking to got glassy eyed.  So, I stopped.

In the stock market, assets that are identical in quality and are interchangeable. Commodities, options, and securities are fungible assets.  Like, do I daily deal in fungible financial assets?  Not hardly.

At work, I exchange an amount of my time and effort and receive a paycheck in return.  So in this instance my time is fungible with my employer’s money.

Still, I don’t foresee myself using this word much.  I find it great fun to say.  Fungible.  Fungible.  Fungible. But lack the opportunity to use it much.  Chalk this word up as something that will reside in my brain but rarely see the light of day on my tongue.

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My Pudency Moment

My mother makes quilts.  Gorgeous quilts.  Yet, when she talks about them, with gread pudency she claims ‘they aren’t anything special.’  I beg to differ.

Pudency [pyood-n-see] is a noun that means modesty.  So, my mother is very modest about her quilt making skills.  She has pudency.  She compares herself with her sister-in-law who does machine embroidery on quilts.  Since my mother can’t do machine embroidery, she feels she isn’t as good.  But she pieces quilts and makes fabulously beautiful ones!

Pudency also means bashfulness.  Maybe you know someone who has done something that you think is spectacularly fabulous.  Yet that person’s pudency (bashfulness) keeps him from bragging about his deeds.

Pudency can also mean embarrassment.  Pudency definitely describes my feelings of a situation I was in several years ago.  At that time, I was playing the piano for a children’s church meeting.  I started playing the song in the key of C.  It was written in the key of E flat.  I started laughing so hard at my mistake that I banged my head on the piano.  Talk about pudency!

I hope you don’t find yourself in situations where you feel pudency like I did!

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Me? Ineffable?

Saturday, our daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  There were some possibilities of complications with the birth.  So, I had been anxious for the past two weeks as the due date drew closer.

Everything went just fine with the delivery.  What a great blessing.  As I held the sweet baby in my arms, the love I felt for her and for my daughter and son-in-law was ineffable.

Ineffable [in-ef-uh-buhl] is an adjective that means incapable of being expressed or described in words.  Inexpressible.  Beyond words.

Ineffable could be used to describe joyously happy and good events such as a daughter or daughter-in-law having a baby.  Babies are so precious.

Then there are those ineffable experiences that are just the opposite of what I have felt with the birth of a granddaughter.  Like what I recently learned about.  A little four-year old boy had been playing in the water in his yard.  He was cold.  He laid down on the hot cement in the driveway to warm up.  Behind a car.  His aunt (his mother’s sister) not knowing he was there, got in her car and accidentally drove over the boy, killing him.  The mother’s sadness at losing a son would be extraordinarily overwhelming.  But, imagine the ineffable soul-searing, debilitating anguish her sister would feel at being the person who was the cause of the death of her sister’s child.

As you learn and use this word, I hope it is used more to describe wonderful experiences and not sad ones.

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