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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

muse

The dictionary has once again drawn me into its tangled web of verboseness. The first attraction was the word muse, which of course means to think or meditate in silence. But somewhat surprising, it also carries another meaning that takes it into the verbal – to say or think meditatively. So now, instead of just saying I was mumbling to myself, I can say, with at least one eyebrow raised, that I was simply musing. I feel smarter already.

A nearby word was museology. But instead of meaning the study of musing or meditation, it is the systematic study of the organization, management, and function of a museum. I was a slight bit disappointed. Then came the word musette, but again I was thrown a curve, because instead of meaning a French female’s meditation, it was a small leather or canvas bag with a shoulder strap, or a French bagpipe of the 17th and early 18th centuries.

While I was aware exactly what a museum was, I somehow wanted the word to mean more. Could it not mean a place where thoughts of long ago could go and be on display? Or even where meditations could be sent to be interred, even if it was in dusty drawers alongside the long dead carcasses of small animals and birds.

Another word that contains this root word is amuse. And as you are aware, it means to hold the attention of someone pleasantly, or to cause mirth, laughter, or the like. This action of the word seems to suggest that this effort is a simple thing and that is not true at all. As the muse part of the word might indicate, to amuse someone takes a lot of thought or even meditation.

Many of the so-called comedians of our day evidently need to take a little more thought about the words they use to try to amuse their audiences. It seems that they think the only way they can be comical is to use off-color, toilet or even perverse humor in order to limp through their gig.

Fortunately the TV has a channel selector switch and I can turn to something else before I feel I need to go take a shower to wash off the filth of their language. The word amusive is defined as something amusing or entertaining but could it not also mean to abuse someone with supposed entertainment. My spell check doesn’t like amusive – its suggestion for an alternate word is in fact the word abusive. Excuse me a moment while I get down off my soapbox.

Another word, which is probably a cousin to the root word, is bemuse. The word means to bewilder or confuse – an action that I have probably done to myself and maybe to others a few times. The second meaning to that word is to cause to become lost in thought. To become lost in thought might be easy for some, since it’s possibly unfamiliar territory. I have even bemused myself a few times but so far have been able to find my way back – at least I think so.

Psm. 143:5 states. “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.” The works of God are good things on which to meditate or muse. ec

8 Comments:

Blogger Brenda said...

Your vocabulary words are much better than the ones I've had to deal with lately. Zach has to learn 10 new ones every week and they're so boring!

11/07/2006 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

And there is also the noun muse (and Muse):

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin Musa, from Greek “Mousa”
Date: 14th century

1 capitalized : any of the nine sister goddesses in Greek mythology presiding over song and poetry and the arts and sciences
2 : a source of inspiration; especially : a guiding genius
3 : poet

11/07/2006 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Mr Eddie ~ Words and dictionarys are so interesting aren't they? We can look up one word and then get side-tracked to read others. Thanks for your comments. Indeed it was pleasant sitting in my gazebo, but it gets better. The friend I mentioned is the son of a friend of mine who died many years ago. And I try to mother him a bit, and he looks on me as another Mum. The reason, yesterday got better,
Mike pulled out heaps of weeds for me and trimmed some trees with his
chain-saw. Take care, Merle.

11/08/2006 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

I was doing the same kind of musing yesterday, with the word 'succor', then sucker, then the images of everything round - I think we have too much time on our hands. Or, we enjoy being amused....

11/08/2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Granny said...

It's a good word.

Thanks for your comment. It's much easier to shop for older girls when I don't have to do the selecting.

11/08/2006 07:58:00 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Thanks for your musings.

11/08/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger Yours truly said...

What a great entry! I like to be amused, I am a muse, and I need to go muse about the news...

11/09/2006 02:22:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

brenda - Maybe he needs some silliness in the mix - like I do mine. :)

SSN - Complicated word - muse,
and its kin words can confuse,
but take it serious, I refuse,
lest my brain I contuse.

merle - Now that is the kind of guest that is welcome in more ways than one.

bonita - I find that many things amuse me and the dictionary is just one more.

granny - Us grandparents (or greatgrandparents) find many ways to keep the grands happy.

AC - Thanks for the comment. My musings amuse me and sometimes bemuse my Spice.

yours truly - Thanks, it's good to muse, especially if it can be done in an amusing way. :) ec

11/09/2006 06:16:00 AM  

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