Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's in a Word?

I believe that when one uses a word, they are intending a specific definition or related synonym to be associated with it, although sometimes, the speaker or writer intends something different than what you asscoiate the word with. For instance, for the longest time I associated the word “weathered” with old and leathery while in reality “weathered” can mean more than aged and worn. Some synonyms are: worn, battered, windswept, weather-beaten, gnarled, tough, wrinkled, craggy, scoured, and eroded. The definition: worn by exposure to the weather, worn damaged or seasoned by exposure to the weather. At first glance all the definition and synonyms do is reinforce the fact that weathered mean aged and worn out. When one look deeper though, you find that weathered is a very physical word describing appearance but can also describe a mental or metaphysical (a word here meaning, without material form or substance, or incorporeal). For instance, a person who has seen or done things far beyond their years, or someone who has weathered so many of life’s storms would qualify and match the description above. Physically they might not look leathery, wrinkled, or worn. But if you knew a person weathered on the inside, you would know. Sometimes you can tell from a look in their eyes, or the stories they tell. Other times the weathering is covered up, with a shiny new exterior and you can hardly tell at all. Yet, all people have moments where they are vulnerable and you may never know how worn they are on the inside, or how much they have been through, until you are with them in those few exposed moments.

No comments:

Post a Comment