Sunday, August 12, 2012

15,842 new words, Word 2: Posh's Feet, and beating a grace note.

It's been a while since I first decided to find out how many words I already know and then learn another 15,842 new ones-- not that I'm in danger of running out of old words to say-- but it's a cloudy Sunday morning and I'm drinking my coffee and sitting with Mr Bunches, who is eating cereal and watching Mr Bean on Youtube, and with that setting the mood (we've also got a fully-set-up Mousetrap game on the table, if you want to picture the scene perfectly) let's dive in to see where I land on another new word.

The last word I didn't know was only seven words into the Oxford English Dictionary; today, I go back to that dictionary, where I see the word of the day is telos (an ultimate object or aim) and the quote of the day is Victoria Beckham talking about how she can't go to the gym because she doesn't understand the shoes,


"I'd love to go to the gym, but I just can't get my head around the footwear. ” Victoria Beckham (1974– ) British pop singer



a quote I find baffling.

Is it supposed to be funny? I have a real problem with comedians (?) who make up a joke that relies on something that just isn't funny, at all, at its core.  So let's parse Posh's joke here:

She would like to work out, but finds the footwear:



too confusing.

In some way.

I suppose.

Or is it that she doesn't like the shoes?  Is that it? That she cannot bring herself to wear -- can't get her head around -- the shoes because they're just not her?

If you Google-Image-Search the phrase "Posh's feet," you will (A) get weird looks from people and (B) find out that Posh's feet have been photographed, a lot, and (C) the photos include this:



Which  are Posh's actual feet and which were the subject of an article in 2009 about how agonizing her feet are and which I suppose we should say "Oh, man, that's terrible she's in lots of pain" but nobody made her wear those shoes, and she's worth millions for singing a bunch of songs nobody not even her can remember, so whatever; I'm glad her feet hurt.

That was mean of me.

Anyway: on to the words! And back off of the words, as the very next entry, after a, that I don't know is a battuta:


a battuta 
Pronunciation: /ˌä bäˈto͞otä/ Syllabification: 
Definition of a battuta adverb Music (typically as a direction) returning to strict tempo. 
Origin: Italian, literally 'to the beating' 
 You might think, what with my having taken piano lessons when I was a kid until I was 12, with having learned to play guitar, as well, and also having tried to learn the bagpipes but that's really hard, I would have known a battuta, but here's a confession:  I never paid much attention to the directions on how to play music.  Beethoven or Brahms or Joplin would write allegretto or have a 4/4 time signature, and I would know what they meant, but I just played it the way I liked it, and didn't worry too much about how the guys who wrote the music would have wanted 12-year-old me to play.

Although I probably would have paid more attention if Mrs. Loppnow, in teaching me what musical notation meant, would have said "now, when you see a battuta that means, literally, to the beating, and so I want you to go back to the strict tempo as though you are beating someone."  

Piano lessons always needed a bit more implied brutality.  Take THAT, grace notes! 


3 comments:

Andrew Leon said...

Have you seen Johnny English? My kids just watched the new one of those and loved it.

Briane P said...

I've never seen a Mr Bean movie AT ALL.

Rusty Webb said...

Yea for music. I'm glad you played.