Aesthetic Sterotype

The Daily Prompt today asks for a word that sound like the exact opposite of what it refers to.

There is a particular word that I find truly offensive. Words don’t typically offend, not individual words, anyway. I suppose there is an infinite number of word combinations that can offend my sensibilities, but a single word? Not many words all on their own can disgust me. There is one though.

It’s not a word that would offend most people. In fact, I’m very fond of a great many words that other people can’t stand to hear. A pair of words that I have always had a deep and abiding passion and fascination for are Funk and Shirt. Oh, wait, that’s not right. They’re Fork and Sheet. No, Frack and Chit. Nope, that’s still not right. Anyway, each of those pairs sounds like them.

Nope, profanity doesn’t bother me in the slightest. There aren’t many dirty words that I don’t use. I suppose I picked that up from the oil field. I never did much oil field work, but my father, grandfather and some of my uncles did. Spend time around that crowd, and you’ll hear it all. I mean, you’ll hear it all in the span of ten minutes. I remember one spectacularly eccentric old oil hand who even made up his own curse words, and he was talented at that.

If nothing of that nature can bother me, then what word could? What word makes my skin crawl whenever I encounter it? If you’re faint of heart, cover your ears. That doesn’t make sense, I’m typing, not talking. I suppose you could cover your eyes, but then I’d have a hard time telling you when to stop.

The word is Prosaic. A word typically held in reserve for the intellectual or those who wish they were. It’s a terrible word. If you don’t understand why, don’t worry, I’ll explain it. I happen to have my Webster’s Dictionary handy. Prosaic, adj. 1 a : characteristic of prose as distinguished from poetry : FACTUAL

Okay, that didn’t sound bad at all. Did I remember wrong? Because that definition didn’t bother me at all. Then again, when I hear or read the word prosaic, that’s not usually what it suggests. There’s another meaning. Ah, here, if I keep reading the definition, it goes on to say, b : DULL, UNIMAGINATIVE  2 : EVERYDAY, ORDINARY. Oh yeah. That’s bad. The word prosaic isn’t usually intended to suggest that something is like prose. It means that something lacks poetry. It is bland, featureless, conventional, without grace or inspiration. Now, since I happen to write prose, I find that more than a little offensive. More to the point, returning to the question posed by the prompt, I find it inaccurate. Prose is not a plain and lifeless art form, and I resent the implication that it is. Prose does not always blankly define and inform. Prose describes. Prose creates. Prose sculpts ideas, stories and philosophies. How did a form of the word prose become a synonym for boredom? Someone out there must think no good books have ever been written.

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2 comments

  1. “Prosaic” certianly does have a negative connotation. Someone who proses on endlessly is prosaic. Too bad, since most of us use prose daily. What a funny turn of events 🙂

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