Word of the Week: February 20th, 2010.

Posted by Christopher Waldrop

February 21, 2010 | 2 Comments

letter-hOccasionally I’ll say that I used to be indecisive but now I can’t decide what I am. The problem I’ve had my whole life is I don’t want to make a hasty decision, hasty coming from an Old English word that means “violent, vehement, or impetuous”. I think the impetuous part has it right, although I do want to avoid making any violent decisions. A vehement decision doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, though. I’ll make a firm stand and stick to my principles–as soon as I can decide what my principles are. It’s not that I’m apathetic. By the way, every time I use the word apathetic I remember the time a teacher used it and a girl raised her hand and asked what it meant. The teacher said, “I don’t care”. The girl said, “Well I do!” A friend of mine thought that demonstrated how stupid she was, but I thought that was a hasty judgment. My friend was pretty well-read so he already knew what apathetic meant, but he’d had to learn it at some point, and you had to know what the word meant to get that the teacher was making a really lame joke.

Speaking of lame jokes, you may have heard of a the Harvard theatrical group called Hasty Pudding. I have no idea why they’re called Hasty Pudding, although I have found a few recipes for hasty pudding and all of them require baking the pudding for at least two hours, so maybe that’s the joke: it’s anything but hasty.

alice


Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. GreenEyedLilo on February 23, 2010 11:33 pm

    You have to love English teacher humor, even as you roll your eyes.

    I’d figured that it was probably called “hasty pudding” because it would be pretty quick to make by, say, 1800s standards, before microwaves and electric ranges.

  2. Christopher Waldrop on February 26, 2010 8:52 am

    English teachers do have rather quirky senses of humor. They’re almost as bad as librarians. ;)

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