What’s in a Word?

I like to make the mundane fabulous whenever I can. ~Rufus Wainwright

Mundane. If ever a word was misunderstood it is this word. Mundane has been cast upon that heap of negative words such as homely and plain, whose true meanings aren’t related to the current connotations.  Homely originally referred to a homebody, someone who kept a nice home and had pride of place. It was not a characterization of looks. It was a compliment. Plain was a neutral implying without ornament. Both homely and plain now denote unattractive, dowdy, or even ugly.

Mundane stands out for me because as a writer I believe that the best writing comes from ordinary moments that create magnificent revelations. Mundanity is simply looking at everyday life and finding the wonderment in it. Mundaneness is the core of my writing.

What excites me is just taking some time to breathe in life. The mundane is very exciting.                                                                         ~Viola Davis

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot provides a perfect example of elevating everyday experiences to something profound. The line, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;” speaks to weighing his life through mundane deeds. The poem is rife with mediocrities stressed by T.S. Eliot. Those mediocracies provide the backdrop for the spectacular.

And so, mundane is a perfect word for me. It reminds me that my daily life is filled with joyous enchantment and intrigue. Mundanity is the door opening into my unique life. Mundane: my word for 2019.

While writing my article, I read a like-minded post by a follower and believe it worthy of the read. I look forward to reading more from Arlene Somerton Smith, but for now here is her post for her Word of the Year.  Sidelined: Released by my word

Mundane, from the Latin word  mundus, “world,” originally referred to things on earth.   (vocabulary.com, Merriam-Webster.com)

© Linda Chamley Johnson
February 2019
Background Photo by Timothy Perry on Unsplash


2 thoughts on “What’s in a Word?

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