Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Nasty Little Letter C

The appropriately beautiful or ugly sound of any word is an illusion wrought on
us by what the word connotes.
Max Beerbohm, writer, critic, and caricaturist (1872-1956)

I've been pondering this quote for a long time. Since it grabbed my attention in the AWAD emails i get and made it the part of my email signature which i always erase anyway (only certain people get it) actually. The point it actually hasn't been a long time. I have no idea why i said a long time, that was stupid, so was just putting a space before a comma, but whatever. THE POINT is that i've been thinking about it and then another little post prompted even further thought ( as seems to be hapening alot lately) so that this post, was born.
I think its true.
To an extent.
The extent being when the words you are comparing don't mean the same thing (as an aside, that's the correct spellign of mean int hat context isn't it? Gosh i prove Miss. Tate theory worng. But only to an extent. I'll not tell you to what extent, that's too divergant). See, i've seen his theory proven right in all the owrds i can think of but amicable and amiable are two that i ahve a problem with.
Hmm i think i just foudn a porblem with this whole post. Connotes could in this case mean "means" right? So... the definitions of the above words (from of course) are:

1.having or showing pleasant,
good-natured personal qualities; affable: an amiable disposition.
2.friendly; sociable
3.Friendly and agreeable in disposition; good-natured and likable

And this is where i'm proven worng because i thought they meant the same thign btu the slight differences in their meanings affects their connotations (which actually cannot mean "meaning" because a connotation is a suggestion besaides the primary meaning.

Characterized by or
showing goodwill; friendly; peaceable:
Characterized by or exhibiting
friendliness or goodwill; friendly
And really they pretty much are the same word and can be used mostly inter-changably, but shades of meanign suggest i was wrong. I [the whole 'i' thing is important, becaus ebeauty is in the eye of the beholder isn't it?) see being amicable as having great potential to just being a show,a facde, a mask of pleasantness and friendliness (see the word characterised? [i 'corrected' the spelling]). On the other hand being amiable, you are likeable and firnedly and pleasant and don't only have the potential (less potential too i think) to be a fraudster, but in more likelihood actually possess these qualities. (see the word having). Also, lovable or lovely is an obslete meaning, suggesting (connoting) actually possession of "likeabliity."
And of course i think amiable is a much more lovely looking word than amicable. Personally, i belive that it is due to not only the connotations of the words (previously explained) that lend this illussion, as Max Beerbom suggests. I think it aslo due to the letter c and its not so fortunate placement within the word amicable. I think, mis-placed, that the letetr c can mark the difference between an ugly word and a beautiful one, not that amicable is an ugly word but it's ot beautiful.
If you don't believe me just take the letter 'c' out of the word amicable.

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