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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Saturday, July 30, 2005

elucidation 2

For a long ago Christmas - the date is relative since (a) I don't remember when and (b) they were given to me by relatives - I asked for, and received, several books on etymology - the study of words (and phrases) and their origins and changes over the years.

Said books still leave me with many questions, the least of which might be the one that follows: Are there other banalities besides the banal ones? You have the ones insipid, vapid, jejune or merely inane, but do they really measure up to the unadulterated totality of the true banality? My readings thus far have supplied a lot of answers, but how does one identify the questions to which they correspond?

Then the piazza of my mind starts sinking into a quagmire of picayune verbosity - much like right now. The things I have learned seem to only widen and deepen the boundaries of my un-knowledge (I do not like the word ignorance). Two of the things that I have managed to learn: 1- Not many people spell out the whole word "etcetera". 2- Almost all of them use it at the end of a sentence.

Switching from words to phrases in the form of written and verbal generalities, the books became no help at all. But I have figured out that a person cannot generalize at all except in a vague or indefinite sort of way. It doesn't seem that there can be a definite generalization, because with the addition of a positive element (the definite), some of the vagueness would be lost and the whole of the generalization would start to deflate like a cheap inner tube.

Yet I'm not sure you can have a random or vague generalization either, because there has to be a subject involved or else nobody would know what you were generalizing about. If a person were generalizing about generalizations, both of these negatives would combine and possibly become a positive and where is the vagueness in all that?

Then maybe we shouldn't generalize at all, but speak of things in a broad, varied and miscellaneous sense. All this is sounding more than vaguely political and I’m not at all sure that I would vote for that.


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