Thursday, November 02, 2006


Obviously,there is something to be said for wanting to speak up, but not having anything to say. To prove that, I am going to talk about a word...esoteric.
According to Wiktionary , esoteric is :
1. Having to do with concepts that are highly theoretical and without obvious practical application.
2. Understood only by a chosen few or an inner circle.
3. Confidential; private.
The "E word" plays a role in a story from 10th grade English. We were discussing a story, "The Rocking Horse Winner", by D.H. Lawrence. The story was , well, boring and obscure, just like most of what I have seen my Mr. Lawrence.
The summer after 10th grade I worked in a movie theatre, in the days when ushers wore ghastly yellow uniforms and stood in the back of the theatre watching the movies over and over. When I started, the Lenox Square 2 theatre was showing "Women in Love", based on a novel my D.H. Lawrence. Glenda Jackson copped an oscar for her portrayal of Gudren, and a young Larry Kramer was one of the screenwriters. It did not improve my opinion of D.H.Lawrence. If the censors had not made a big deal out of "Lady Chatterly's Lover" he would be forgotten today.
Back to 10th grade english. We were discussing this putrescent story, when a girl raised her hand and asked why any author would write something so esoteric. The teacher had never heard of this word before, and was amazed to hear it.
The Lenox Square 2 theatre was a long, slender thing with a small screen. This was in 1970, when the concept of the multiplex had not evolved yet. LS2 was under a grocery store, and when the automatic door openers performed their duty, you could hear the motors in the theatre below.
The movies there the rest of the summer were Fellini Satyricon, The Christine Jorgenson Story, and The Landlord.
Back to esoteric...or did I ever go away? Before you can understand esoteric, you must plumb the depths of pedantic...
1. Like a pedant, overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points of learning.
2. Being showy of one’s knowledge, often in a boring manner.
3. Often used to describe a person who emphasizes his/her knowledge through the use of vocabulary; ostentatious in one’s learning.
4. Being finicky or picky with language.
Pedantic is an adjective that describes itself.


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