I’d been seeing the word “ennui” more frequently of late, and, embarrassingly at least to me, I didn’t know what the word meant. I saw it in an article I was reading this morning, and I saw it in one of the comic strips I read daily. The little girl in the strip asks the mother what she knows about ennui. The mother wants to know why and how she knows the word. She answers the “online dictionary”. That’s pretty much where I get most of my definitions too. So I looked it up.
The first thing I noticed was the pronunciation was not “Eee-new-eee,” as I obviously thought, but is a french word pronounced “Ahn-wee.” Figures. The definition is “a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom: The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui.” Shit, does anyone talk like that?
Of course I had no idea what satiety meant. I probably could have figured it out, but I just typed it in the search box on the online dictionary. Bingo. The definition it produced was: “the state of being satiated; surfeit.” Okay, I pretty much know what satiated is but I had no idea what surfeit was.
So I looked that up. It’s a noun with three obvious definitions. The first is “excess, and excessive amount: a surfeit of speechmaking.” Yeah I said that the other day about Obama’s speech to the nation about the killing of Osama. Didn’t stick on his popularity rating. Read today that Romney has caught him already. The second definition was “excess or overindulgence in eating or drinking” and the final definition was “an uncomfortably full or crapulous feeling due to excessive eating or drinking.” Wow, what does “crapulous” mean?
Crapulous is pronounce “krap-yuh-luhs”. Kind of like fabulous with crap replacing fab. And it means being sick from excessive indulgence in liquor. I’ve been there, I called it a hangover. Now I can say I feel crapulous.
Vocabulary has always interested me, not because of all the fancy words you can learn, but because of the thousands and thousands of words that exist that we would never think to use. Why call a hangover a crapulation? We can sound all educated because we use words like satiated. I ate so much, I’m satiated, totally surfeit. Who the hell talks like that?
So I was suffering with ennui when I tried to come up with a topic for my blog today. Nothing seems to have happened on this date in history of any importance. The United States Colonies changed their name to The United States on this date in 1775. Clever name change. And maybe of note, John Joseph Doyle became the first pinch-hitter in baseball when he was used in a game on this date in 1892. History appears to be suffering from unnui on this date.
Did you know that the state motto for Nevada is “All for our country?” I’ve got to look into that.