Friday, February 15, 2008

..and I would have got away with it, if it wasn't for those pesky Semantics..

I have a problem.

A retro-semantic problem.

I seem to find myself using words with their old meanings, meanings that people have forgotten. Sometimes because it's nice, but mostly because there's no other word for the old meaning than that word. So I end up having to explain what I mean in the end so it defeats the purpose.

One I don't use often that's in the "nice" bracket is occasional. Not occasional as in sometimes, or, on occasion; but as an adjective; i.e. for an occasion. That dress is occasional.

The one I get stuck on all the time is Romantic. To me, romantic is the most beautiful emotion inspired by history, art, the past, tradition, period dramas, the 1911 census, Who Do You Think You Are, Vienna, the ancient Middle East, Beethoven, the aristocracy, English literature, old books, old clothes, old photographs, beautiful hair, beautiful dresses, Botticelli's Venus, traditional dancing, the pomp of the Roman Catholic church, chivalry, men walking on the car side of the path to me, grace, etc, etc.

But people think I mean love, flowers, chocolates, the Notebook, Colin Firth, Mills & Boons. I totally appreciate a quality romantic film (particularly if set in the past), but in real-world terms this type of romance does nothing for me.

Then I have the problem of extrovert and introvert. To me, these relate to the needs and desire (or not) of people for society; not of their wish to be in the centre of society. I classify myself as an extrovert because I need company constantly and I need to know I have plans for society. It's taken me years to train myself to do without this on Sundays. I envy introverts - in the sense that they're happy with their own company and therefore freer than me. And I always end up befriending them which is ironic given I need and they don't.

Anyway, if you put it into modern semantics I'm very much the introvert because I hate being the centre of attention in a crowd. I hate birthdays for this reason. I'm a closet blogger for this reason. I like my attention on a one-to-one basis.

I know there are other words like this where I have one meaning and everyone else has another but what can you do but use and elaborate.


  1. Have same problem wiht romantic - never heard of occasional!

  2. Occasional? Very good for tables. Find myself using words that haven't been fashionable since ought four frequently. People just take it as a cute eccentricity at this stage.