A friend recently told me that I have “a gift to express in written words meaningful thoughts, feelings, and events.”
I actually think I really do. When I write I can take as long as I need to find the right word, to go back again and again (and sometimes even again) to fix and polish my sentences until they say what I am truly hoping that they will say.
When I write I feel like I am a bit more graceful, eloquent, intelligent, thoughtful, and knowledgeable than I am in real life. The silent spaces in my written communication aren’t uncomfortable or embarrassing; they aren’t filled with nervous ramblings, in reality those awkward verbal gaps are unseen. (You will never know how long it took me to write this!) When I write, my impetuous impulsivity has time to mellow and mature.
Perhaps by writing a little more I will talk (and ramble) a little less. I will be able to take you more directly to my point, and spend a bit less time lost in my circumlocuitous verbal wanderings. (1)
(1) Yes, footnotes are allowed. Encouraged, in fact. My spell checker does not like the word “circumlocuitous.” Merriam, Webster, and Britannica do not recognize it. However Wiktionary does. And Butler does. So there. It’s an excellent word. Use it, with knowledge and with pride. (2)
(2) Is it permissible for a footnote to be footnoted? I say yes, so here goes. In fact, I can already tell that this is going to be a perfect example of my circumlocuitous verbal wandering. You want to know what circumlocuitous actually means? My dad would tell you, “Look it up in the dictionary.” Since it’s not found in the dictionary, I’ll give you a break and define it. It’s the adjectival form of circumlocution which means (in my terms) “talking around.” (circum=around/encircling, locution=speaking/talking). It’s like getting close to what you’re trying to say but without quite nailing it. (Remembering, though, that close is just fine when it comes to hand grenades or horseshoes.) Or, in my case, verbally wandering around, picking up and discovering new words, thoughts, and random other things, and finally getting back to the point I was starting to make a few hundred words back and, by golly, remembering the original point I was trying to make and actually making it! Britannica gives this definition: “periphrasis grammar also called circumlocution the use of a longer phrasing in place of a possible shorter form of expression; a roundabout or indirect manner of writing or speaking.” This is a wonderful definition because it not only defines circumlocution well but, for no cost at all, gives us a wonderful new synonym—periphrasis! Wow, two outstanding words for the price of one. And I just learned something new—periphrasis. (I love learning new things!)
So there you have it, a perfect example of the power of writing and of editing. If I were editing this little article I’d completely toss the footnotes, giving you 181 words of thoughtful expression, dispensing with these additional 343 words, but leaving you to wonder and wander about “circumlocuitous” all by yourself.
So, what do you think?