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Showing posts from April 30, 2023

The silly and the soulful

When Adam was in maternal – kindergarten for those of you in the States - in Santa Monica,  the teachers keep a running file on his moods that included such things as angry, interested, lethargic, etc. One of the great categories was silly.   Now Adam is in the fifth grade, and, alas, the seriousness of life is settling in. Not for him or his classmates, not yet. But the teachers now are down on silly like a gardner is down on weeds. Say what you will of the dandelion, we don’t want it among the carrots.   And isn’t life just carrots?   Well, no.   I’ve been silly my whole life, if nothing else. But I recognize the powers that be.   The oxford english dictionary comes down pretty harshly on silly. Their primary definitions are “Ridiculously trivial”, “lack of common sense” – such is the voice of the scold, disguised as a lexicographer. But some of the first instances of “seely” means worthy or holy. In the fifteenth century, “sylyman prob. has the sense ‘goodman, husband’.In “late