November 22nd, 2002

abstract butterfly

La Z Boys and Barcaloungers

"I wonder, though, if we should not celebrate the fact that a lot of people, like myself, are the window dressing and living room furniture in life. We tend to look only to the principal actors, whether male or female, and their great accomplishments. Yet the set onstage is filled with tons of practical things so basic that nobody ever dreams of praising them. How could the light from “yonder window break” if there were no window?"
--excerpt from bad novel

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  • Current Mood
    reclining a bit
abstract butterfly

I wish I may I wish I mite

Grammarians frown upon the modern trend to make nouns into verbs. I sympathize with the notion, although I google in my speech, and intend to continue in this fashion until time interfaces infinity. Even aside from any faint praise with which I damn grammarians, however, I protest that one noun makes a wonderful verb. This noun is "termite".

I love the notion that one "termites" one's way into a subject matter, a business matter or an interaction. The images perhaps ghasts one a bit, if ghast qualifies as a verb form of "ghastly", but the insidious certainty of the term justifies the unfortunate mental image.

I always feel that the termite deserves the sobriquet "America's other social insect". Huge volumes by Harvard entomologists about the ants grace respectable bookshelves and sell well on Amazon. But nobody reads weighty tomes about "The Termites", except, of course, employees and relatives of the Orkin pest control company. For all their wood-chewing and disease-carrying splendor, though, termites work a hard day's work, and socialize well with one another.

So I write in favor of the verb form "to termite", because so much of human affairs is just one endless chomp-able block of wood, and we all need somebody who unobtrusively digs into the center, and makes the passageways out.
  • Current Music
    Jeff Pearce, "Bleed", which contains no mites,