Honestly, That Wasnʼt Me

I have begun to realize the power of words in a new way recently. I have always (well, for a good long time now) understood that I could create characters for fiction and drama through language and stylistic choices. However, as a shy and generally unpopular person with no great reservoirs of impermeable self-confidence bloating my personality, I hadnʼt stopped to think about how my own choice of words makes me seem. And the choices can extend beyond just the words I select to use, including even the details or events I determine to mention or not. As I hope you may see for yourself…

…or Just Who Is Wakdjunkaga?

Although I have been unjustly praised for my “honesty” here on the blog (and many thanks, Ms. Jaia, for that compliment once upon a time), I have begun to find philosophical interest and amusement in recognizing the artificiality of the persona projected through my words (and my choice of just what and what not to talk about). There are innumerable topics I could and perhaps should have chosen to discuss here that might shed a very different light on me than the things I have decided to write about (and the ways in which I have chosen to write). For instance, although I never hesitated from revealing it to a classroom full of students, Iʼve never discussed my childhood penchant for theft (although those misadventures could provide some really fertile fodder for this forum, now that I think about it). More recently, and directly relevant, as an example, I was not historically or biographically honest in my most recent post about my new verb “transide.”* (And yes, that post was actually an attack on the subhumans who vilely have chosen to use “transition” for the verb that I would like now to invent.)

I really thought “transide” was a real, valid verb in English. Iʼve even used it before! My normal choice has been in the form of the present participle, “transiding,” which I may even have used here on the blog. (Wait. Let me check that with a quick search using that convenient little “Search Wakdjunkaga” entry box at the right. — Nope. Somehow I actually avoided that mistake. The only appearance for any form of “transide” was the post in question.) However, I did believe it was a genuine English verb; after all, that makes sense with a noun that should derive from just such a verb (that noun being “transition”). I was completely convinced, without foundation, that “transide” was good English usage. I took it for granted. And I was, without knowing it, wrong. Absolutely wrong. And as is nearly inevitable with those who are wrong, I had to get educated and discover for myself the truth.

In fact, on Thursday as I was writing that post in which I officially inaugurated my campaign to create the verb “transide,”* I was shocked — shocked! — to be unable to find said verb in the Apple Dictionary. That failure led me quickly to my browser to google the word throughout Internet, futilely, including the various dictionaries available. So I checked an old Student Websterʼs, which the publisher had sent me as a perusal copy decades ago, with equal lack of success. At last I dragged out my two-volume complete Oxford English Dictionary (even with my poor eyesight, I can make out those quarter-reduced pages when my nose is nearly pressed against the print), at which point I finally figured out my problem. The word didnʼt exist.

However, that unexpectedly educational search did not find its way into the blog post, nor did my previous belief that “transide” was already an extant verb. Instead I trumpeted my exhortation that “transide” should become a valid word (not quite the reverse of my actual, previous belief that it existed already). You learned nothing at all about my suddenly imposed awareness** that I had been wrong about the verb that “transition” did (not) come from. The absence of that information surely created an alternative, undoubtedly false impression, which this little post exists to undo.

I wonder what else about myself the texts of the blog have obscured or hidden. I wonder what unreal nonentity I have foisted on my readers without even realizing it…

That Wakdjunkaga, always the Trickster.

* And I still believe “transide” would be a very useful and appropriate neologism for everyone to adopt.

** I think that those three words might be a good definition of education.

©2011 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

2 thoughts on “Honestly, That Wasnʼt Me

    • A good suggestion, Denise. It would definitely work for the weatherman whose constant use of verb “transition” bothers us almost daily. “Transit” lacks the meaning of “change topics,” which is why I guess I believed the nonexistent verb existed.

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