February 13, 2007
While I’m pleased to say that my posts are usually more logocentric than phallogocentric, even I have my vocabulary failings. [btw, a good discussion in class today on the word for ‘vocabulary’ in Hebrew–otzar milim. otzar milim is a direct calque for the German worschatz, both translating literally into English as “treasure of words.” I guess the closest we have in English is “word bank” as a bank is a place that steals people’s money to make treasure. 2, nay 3 dollar ATM fees? It’s past time we elect Al Franken President, perhaps the staunchest opponent of ATM fees extant.]
So it’s really a rare occurrence when I go through any book in English–even an academic work–and find more than 2 or 3 words that confuse me. Woe is me that today I found such a work. The best (or worst) of these words, and the one that got me to pry myself away from Mosley’s stimulating work on Jewish autobiography is, “concatenation.” I have no good guesses. Let’s try parsing it:
con (together or with) + caten (?) + ation (indicating nouns of action, usually from Latin via French)= doing something together with caten.
Actually, my parsing would have worked perfectly if I had known that a “catena” is a chain. Concatenation is “Union by chaining or linking together; concatenated condition,” or “the action of chaining together” as my word-regenerator would have given.
Unfortunately, I have no way of concatenating the first part of my post with this next part. Last week, I railed against Studio 60, calling for sweeping changes with the show. While this week, regrettably, placed our heroes further in the depths of their idiotic love stories, Sorkin managed to begin exploring his dark past via-Matt’s-dark-side-which-was-actually-Danny’s-dark-side. Confused? Danny and Matt work for NBS because Danny failed his drug test, and Matt’s a nice guy and only wanted to work with his buddy. Sorkin, has had many a drug problem in his day, and that part of the fabula was clearly autobiographical. But it gets better: Danny had a weird relationship starting with a woman who seemed a lot like Maureen Dowd, an old-Sorkin fling, while Matt has his romantic imbroglio with Harriet who resembles another Sorkin flame, Kristin Chenowith. Sorkin, however, seems to be confused as to which character representing Aaron Sorkin is doing which thing done by Aaron Sorkin, and has decided to have Matt Start poppin’ pills instead of Danny. Such are the dangers of writing a show populated by characters who are representations of various elements of your self.
Will solipsists ever learn? Hopefully I won’t lose myself in dailysalad/Dash Hammerskjold representation.