On Language and Pedantry

As this is my first philosophical post I would like to make something clear…

This is my philosophy…

I have a certain amount of knowledge about the philosophy that has gone before me, but, generally speaking…

Any resemblance to anyone else’s ideas is purely coincidental…

If coincidences exist…

Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as men’s judgements of one another

Desiderus Erasmus

There is a blight on Twitter. The pedant. The one who corrects other people when they have misspelled a word, used the wrong word, or misplaced an apostrophe. I feel sorry for them. Many people will see a mistake but will remain silent because they know that it really doesn’t matter. Language is communication. As long as the idea is communicated it is of no consequence if a word is misused, misspelled or even made up.

I blame Samuel Johnson. At least partly. Compiling a long, long list of words, documenting their meaning, and spelling. What was he thinking? I think that he had a hand in killing the English Language, making it staid and lifeless. (I confess that I have just had to Google the word ‘staid’ to make sure that it was the word I was looking for!). Language should have life to it. It should be fun and we should be allowed to have fun with it.

Go on. Make up a new word today. See if other people will know what you mean. As long as the word has some context they should have an inkling of an idea. How many people have asked somebody to pass them the ‘dooberry’ or said, ‘you know, thingammyjig’? As long as there is context, such as them having something that can be passed over or a further description as to what the thingammyjig is, there is understanding. An idea will have been communicated. If you don’t feel like creating, why not resurrect a word that has fallen into disuse. Nincompoop, meaning a person with silly ideas, is a particular favourite of mine. Try it in a sentence the next time you come across a pedant. Look him straight in the eye and say, ‘you sir… are a nincompoop!’.


On Being British in 2012

Yes this is a post about the Olympics…

But with a twist…

I was not inspired to write this because of our sports men and women…

I was inspired by the supporters…

4th July 2012. More medals for Team GB. More reasons for us Brits to be proud. My day of Olympic sport was kick started by the excitement of the rowing. The tactics and the power of our rowers left most in the shade. I will confess that I joined them in their tears of joy. Call me soppy if you like. I don’t care. That’s exactly what I am.

To get back to the post…

Saturday evening. 10,000 metre finals. Running for Great Britain, Mo Farah. He was nothing short of superb. Technically brilliant. Team GBs supporters were with him all the way. Nobody cared that he was not born in this country. Nobody cared that he is an immigrant. They just cheered him on.

This is my inspiration. For too long British patriotism has been linked (in my mind at least) to racism. The BNP – the British National Party. British? I do not think so. You see, Saturday evening proved to me that my country folk think the same as me. Race and colour do not matter. It is what is in a person’s heart that counts. And before the cynics say that the crowd were supporting Team GB and not Mo Farah, a day later Jamaican Usain Bolt won gold in the 100 metres and there was much love for him too.

I was always proud to be British, but the link between the racists and the thugs has always made me a little uneasy about it. I am finding it difficult to put my finger on what this uneasiness was. Maybe the truth is that I just forgot what it meant to be British because there was so much negativity against Britishness. I now remember. Britishness is in the heart, not in the skin colour, religion or nationality.

To all those that helped to remind me, thank you. I love you all.


Black Dog

Then too you cannot spend an hour alone;
No company’s more hateful than your own;
You dodge and give yourself the slip; you seek
In bed or in your cups from care to sneak;
In vain: the black dog follows you and hangs
Close on your flying skirts with hungry fangs


I know this. I have been there. I have felt the Black Dog possess me. This is for all of those out there who have felt it too.

I will not dwell on what I have been through. This will only serve to remind me more of how I felt. Instead I want to share my feelings about what I think caused my depression and what I did to try and help myself. Someone might recognize something…


We are all meant to conform. Do this at that age because you have to have reached that stage and such and such time of life. We from school to college to university to a career. We are almost expected to get married and have children before the age of 30. Oh yes, we are all meant to do things before we are ‘too old’. If you try but don’t manage to conform then it is almost certain that you will feel yourself to be a failure. This was why the Black Dog caught me. This is what fed Him. I realised though that these are societal pressures, they have little to do with reality. It is this realisation that now keeps him at bay. I am unique. My life is unique. Society cannot know my fate. As Lao Tzu said,

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like

 You do have to be brave to face reality. Life brings good things and it brings bad. To be brave is to live. To be brave is to be Black Dog’s worst enemy…


 I do not find it difficult anymore to be brave. It has become a habit. I have various ‘strategies’ to cope with life. I break large problems down into smaller ones, avoid The Jeremy Kyle Show like the plague, (it makes me weep for humanity if this is the way we are going to ‘solve’ our problems), and I take time to look at the wild flowers on the way to work. I give myself a break if things go wrong and I give myself space if things get on top of me. I also believe that Sir Thomas Browne is right,

All the wonders you seek are within yourself

 You have to believe in yourself if you are going to be happy. This is key.


Yes I am thankful that I have met Black Dog. I believe that depression has allowed me to see the truth of things. I am content now with who I am. I have problems but they are not going to kill me, and some things that I used to see as problems are actually no problem at all. I know that Black Dog will never go away, but I can keep him at a distance. I am able to smile all the time and I laugh on most days. As Albert Camus said,

 In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer

Just Being Social

Hellooo… is there anybody there? I will assume that there is. This won’t work if I think that I am talking to myself.

So here I am then. My first blog. The first time that I am going to sit here and wrestle with a blank screen for your entertainment.

‘So what are you going to blog about?’ I hear you ask. Well, I was going to make this first post a ‘hello, this is me and this is what I have been through’ type of thing, but that would be boring for me to write and probably send you into a coma. I decided though that I am not the sum total of my experience (yes, I am a bit of a philosopher), I am who I am (no singing please) now. I am what I think, or, to be posh about it, Ergo sum quod puto. So the best way to find out who I am is to find out how I think, and the best way to do this is to read my mind. So that is what I am going to blog about. Whatever’s on my mind. If I think you will be interested, I will blog about it.


Looking good for 42Looking good for 42 

So why am I here? Why do I want to share myself with with people that I do not know and will never meet? You may not even want to comment on this blog. You may want to remain anonymous and not want to admit to reading this, fine by me. I already know that I entertain. Does that sound cocky? Sorry, I didn’t mean it that way. I will explain myself.

At the beginning of the year (or maybe it was the end of last) there was a very odd television programme about Twitter. ‘That looks like it might be weird enough to entertain me’ I thought. ‘I should try it’. Now, I usually let thoughts like that slide, but this time I didn’t. ‘I’m 42’, I though to myself, ‘I will try new things and if those things go pear-shaped I will put it down to having a mid-life crisis’.

Twitter is not going to be put down as a mid-life crisis. Oh no. I have come across so many nice, funny, like-minded people on there. They make me laugh and smile and occasionally cry. Don’t get that last bit wrong. I care for these people, and when they have nasty experiences or go missing because they have problems I feel for them. I’m soppy like that. Oh, and sometimes when I entertain them, they tell me. I like that. I like to know I have put a smile on a face.

So I dedicate this to my lovely Tweeples, especially those who talk to me, make me smile and inspire me. To those that I have supported and entertained, I will say  that I will always be here to support and entertain.

That is why I am here. That is why I am sharing myself. Twitter has taught me that there are many nice people out there, and if I can entertain just one more person, it is all worth it.

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A Cat's View

Mainly philosophy, as cats are very philosophical creatures