Celebrity? Modestly? How words change.

I’ve just been reading “Celebrity Couples who live surprisingly modest lives” and been left spluttering with so many things that need saying and not enough mouths.

Disclaimer: If you click the above link and find yourself lost for words, infuriated or wasting your life on trivia, don’t blame me, blame the internet and the tempting array of links it offers as you log in to your email.

For one thing, how can a couple be a “celebrity couple” if I haven’t heard of them? I admit that I’m not the man most likely to be up to date on all this celebrity stuff and I’ll concede that some of the couples may be well known though unknown to me. However, I’ll ask people to concede that simply being known isn’t the same as being a “celebrity”, which needs a sprinkle of glamour to make it true.

I’ll make a quick sidestep here to show my thinking.. “I’m a Celebrity…Get me out of here!” consistently features people who aren’t celebrities and in any right-thinking society would be prosecuted for fraud if not for being terribly irritating TV. They have just announced a winner – Carl Fogarty. He’s a good bloke and deserves to be called a celebrity after all he’s done. Second place went to someone who came second in the X-Factor. Not really the same is it?

Same goes for Fogarty’s MBE. He wins four World Superbike Championships, Isle of Man TTs and loads of other stuff, risking death on the way round. He gets an MBE. If he’d won a couple of Olympic Golds, risking a pulled hamstring, he’d have been given a knighthood.

Such is the strange and arcane way of the British Honours System.

Anyway, back to the “celebrity” couples. Their modest lifestyles include saving money in the bank (sensible, but then they do have  alot of it), using money-off vouchers (just plain miserly) and living in homes worth only $1,000,000 (or $2,000,000 in one case – how modest!). Best of all is Kate and Wills, our favourite Royals. It seems their modest lifestyle includes doing their own shopping instead of getting a royal retainer to do it for them. What sort of world do we live in where doing your own shopping is considered out of the ordinary?

And yes, I’m not famous, don’t have an MBE and live less than modestly due to having no money. It may well make me jealous. But does it make me wrong?



The Beauty of Blogging

Paperwork today, following up from two meetings yesterday. Also an email teaching me how to suck eggs.

Does glumness radiate from my words?

It’s certainly radiating from my person. That and homicidalness. I just checked the weband it isn’t a word. The word given as an alternative is homicidality, which seems a little neater but, on checking, isn’t a word either.

Now, I have a choice here. I could carry on, as I meant to do and say “Paperwork and meetings don’t bring out the best in me…”

But I’ve had another idea.

Back to my last sentence and start again, the new thought being more attractive than the old one.

“The word given as an alternative is homicidality, which seems a little neater but, on checking, isn’t a word either.”

Actually, that’s wrong.

It definitely is a word because it’s a string of letters that can be pronounced (though if I was writing this in Xhosa we could dispense with the pronunciation element of the definition, as we could for Klingon and Welsh). That fits my definition of a word. It fitted Shakespeare’s definition of a word too. It was easier for him of course, there were more words to be invented and no dictionaries. Today, if it isn’t in a dictionary it isn’t a word. On the other hand, all new words have to start by not being in dictionaries.

Now I’m glum, given to homicidal thoughts and perplexed about the nature of language.

I’m glum because I don’t like paperwork. Regular readers will know that. You need paperwork to run a country but you don’t need it to run a small business, unless you are a small business producing used paper. Governments and tax men disagree but that’s due to a lack of proper potty training rather than me being wrong.

My perplexity has already been explained. That just leaves the urge to violence, and I’m already finding that is reducing. There’s something about words, even made up words, that I find calming. And that is why the title of this piece is the Beauty of Blogging. 

Even when I have little to say, I find myself becoming calm. It’s like being in Church and though the language is less mellifluous there is no requirement to be nice to your neighbour.