14 June 2013

Borrowed Time

I woke up this morning and I was feeling down in the dumps. I got up on the wrong side of the bed however I am now up and running.  I had a lot of work to do but I have been belting it out. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I am writing here in idiom. There are hundreds of them and perhaps thousands. They exist in every language and I like them a lot.

Idiom are combinations of words that are figurative rather than literal. We all use them. Idiom are most commonly referred to as 'figures of speech'. The term has Latin origins and is derived from the word "idioma" which roughly translates to a "special phrasing".  Idiom have been around for a long time. The plural of idiom is idiom. It is one of those unusual words where the singular is the same as the multiple. There is no such word as idioms. One idiom, two idiom, three idiom, four.

And so it goes.

If you swap the 'm' out of idiom for a 't' you get the word 'idiot'. An idiot is someone who acts in a self defeating manner. They are mentally deficient and are referred to as dolts or dullards. Both these words are excellent. The Latin word idiota refers to an "ordinary person or layman". The modern meaning and form of the term dates back to the Middle English period - circa 1300. It is a derivation of the Old French word idiote which is an "uneducated or ignorant person". I think I know as many idiots as I do idiom. Possibly more. My life is littered with them.

Particularly the English.

An idiot is said to be idiotic when they behave in a silly and uncouth manner. They suffer from idiocy. Cretins, imbeciles and morons are all forms of idiots. A dunce is a person who may also be deemed an idiot however they are also specifically incapable of learning. A fool is not necessarily an idiot - they are simply unwise. It is said that even death may not even cure an idiot. Methinks there is a very fine line between audacity and idiocy and I suspect that I am balanced precariously on this line.

I am tottering.

Interestingly - to me at least - are people who are referred to as "idiot savants'. This term is somewhat passé though and is considered now to be politically incorrect. Savant syndrome is a condition in which a person who has significant mental disabilities demonstrates remarkable and often prodigious cognitive abilities. Such abilities are way beyond what is considered normal. Many idiot savants suffer severe autism. People with savant syndrome will typically score very poorly on IQ tests but they demonstrate exceptional skills and brilliance in very specific areas. These are often mathematically related and include rapid or instant calculation and perfect recall.

It is a fascinating phenomena.

The character Raymond played by Dustin Hoffman in the film "Rain Man" was an idiot savant. He was able to multiply very large numbers and count items just by glancing at them however he couldn't tie his own shoelaces. Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for his performance in "Rain Man".

It was an excellent film.

To 'kick the bucket' is a very commonly uttered idiom and it means to die. There are many versions of this idiom in other languages. Bulgarians say, 'to kick the bell'. The French refer to dying as, 'eating dandelions by the root'. In Greece it is, 'to shake the horse shoes'. The crazy Dutch equivalent idiom is 'to lay the piece of lead' and the even madder Danes say, "at stille traeskoene" which translates to 'take off the clogs'. I asked my deranged Danish neighbor Jens whether he had used this term before and whether he owned a pair of clogs. He snarled in response and called me a "stupid Australian fokker". Nice one Jens.

You fat obnoxious bastard.

I couldn't be bothered trading insults with Jens today. I am a little fearful of him. I could well have bombarded him with a whole series of idiom though but the cat got my tongue and when push comes to shove I am all bark and no bite. This is a bit of a crying shame but I have bigger fish to fry. Jens is somewhat of an emotional cripple who thinks that he is the best thing since sliced bread.  He is not the sharpest knife in the drawer but his dangerous unpredictability also makes taunting him like playing with fire. He could turn on me in a twinkling of an eye. 

Jens has hated me since I spilt the beans to the management of the apartment complex in which we live that he was the likely suspect who shat in the swimming pool that we all share. I let the cat out of the bag. When he found out that I was the informant he came at me like a bull out of the gate. 

I feel like I am living on borrowed time.

Writing in idiom is easy. It is a piece of cake.

My sweet old and dearly departed Nanna used idiom a lot. She used it right up until she kicked the bucket. Her favorite was "that's a fine kettle of fish". She said this whenever there was an awkward situation.

A predicament.

I can't think of anymore idiom off the top off my head so I think I will call it a day.

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