We have spent a chunk of today travelling across town so that Phil could consult a doctor and get some antibiotics, hopefully for nothing too serious. We had to travel across town because our own doctors, after a long session of hanging on the telephone, were only able to offer an appointment in a month’s time. After some huffing and puffing, they told him of a system of emergency appointments on, as I already said, the other side of town.
This is why people go to A&E and clog up the system, people sitting around for hours breathing in other folk’s germs!!!
Not impressed! It’s a far cry from the days when the doctor called on the patient at home. And yes, that WAS part of the NHS service!
Anyway, this has led to much reading of the Saturday paper.
In one section was a selection of poems about insects, “curated by Carol Anne Duffy”, who is coming to the end of her time as poet laureate. The poems are interesting, if you like poems about insects. More interesting for me is this verb “curate”, which never used to exist as far as I know, but which I hear all the time instead of “compile” or “collect” or even sometimes “research”.
Obviously it is connected to “curator”, so I did a bit of research of my own.
According to Merriam-Webster, this is the definition of a curator:-
: one who has the care and superintendence of something
: one in charge of a museum, zoo, or other place of exhibits.
The website gave me this nugget of information:
Did You Know?
In a good-sized art museum, each curator is generally responsible for a single department or collection: European painting, Asian sculpture, Native American art, and so on. Curatorial duties include acquiring new artworks, caring for and repairing objects already owned, discovering frauds and counterfeits, lending artworks to other museums, and mounting exhibitions of everything from Greek sculpture to 20th-century clothing.
It also had a section called “Other Words from curator”, which gave me these:-
curatorial - adjective
curatorship - noun
But it did not give me :-
curate - verb
Of course it’s a fairly obvious creation from curator and I know that new words are being created all the time but some, like this one, sound a bit odd and possibly unnecessary!
Also Wikipedia told me that in Scotland, the term "curator" is also used to mean the guardian of a child, known as curator ad litem. Who knew?
And, of course, it all comes from Latin originally.
On the subject of words, here’s a very odd new meaning for an old word:
the word “cancel” can be used to mean “withdraw your admiration”, from a person for example.
On this subject, the novelist Brett Easton Ellis someone I confess to never having read, apparently said this in an interview this week: “I mean, what is millennial culture? There’s no writing. They don’t care about literature. None of them reads books.” I bet that went down well with the millennials. Mr Easton Elliswent on to claim that millennials only have “cancel culture”, as in, “We’re going to cancel this person, she shouldn’t have tweeted that, she’s cancelled”.
How weird! I am clearly completely out of touch with young-people-speak!
But here are some words which someone has invented and which I find rather pleasing:
Buchendschmerz - encroaching melancholy as you approach the end of a good book.
Leichtlesbucheifersucht - envying someone enjoying a light, fun book while you struggle through a long, worthy one.
Stapelschuldgefühl - guilt felt upon buying new books when you have a pile of unread ones at home.
Buchverlusterleichterung -relief upon finding that you have lost your copy of a book that you weren’t really enjoying.
Now I want a word for a book you buy because the blurb looks interesting and the first few pages grab you, only to discover you already have a years-old copy on the shelf at home!