WOW #40

Music Staff

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the most useless Word (Of the Week) in the English language.  It is

SOLMIZATION

Music. The act, process, or system of using certain syllables, especially the sol-fa syllables, to represent the tones of the scale.

Solmization comes from French solmization, a derivative of solmiser “to (sing) sol-fa.” The system of solmization is attributed to Guido of Arezzo (c995-1049), a Benedictine monk from Arezzo, Tuscany, who also invented the staff notation used in Western music. Solmization entered English in the 18th century.

While the system is used thousands of times a day, I have never heard of it being identified or given credit for by this name.  The act, or process, which Good Old Guido developed/invented/applied, occurred exactly once – never previously, and never since.  This is a definition which Jim Wheeler will probably dislike, because it’s a one-off.

Somebody had to go to the trouble to come up with a label for a thing which occurred with the same frequency as those infinite monkeys, banging out Shakespeare on infinite typewriters.  (You’d think that somebody’d give them word-processors and keyboards these days.)  I’m not surprised that it came to English through the surrender-monkey French.  They’ve got lots of time to sit around, eating snails and mouldy cheese, and being pretentious.

I may have to give my Word-program Spellcheck a slap upside the head.  Whenever I type in this word, it insists that it should be ‘solmisation’, even though my dictionary site spells it with a Z for both British and American English.  As noted above, even French spells it my way.

I’m going to spell it ‘lazy weekend‘, but I’ll see you back here Monday, with the next A To Z Challenge letter.  😀

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A To Z Challenge – U

april-challenge

When NBC convinced Johnny Carson to move his Tonight show from New York City to California, the changeover happened quite quickly.   His Burbank studio was ready far before he had a chance to buy or rent accommodations on the Left Coast.

He was put up for almost two months in a luxury suite at a ritzy local hotel. I don’t know if it was just having to live in unfamiliar, if posh, surroundings; if there was some friction between him and hotel staff and management; or if it was just an easy target for the gag-writers jokes.

Every night for weeks, there was a snide comment, and the Sheraton Universal was changed and referred to in his monologues as the Sheraton Unspeakable, the Sheraton Unreasonable, the Sheraton Uninhabitable, the Sheraton Untenable, the Sheraton Unbearable.

It was almost amazing how many U-shaped insults were crafted.  Finally, one night it became simply the Sheraton Unique, and we come to the word for this post about

letter-u

I recently composed a post about how huge percentages of the population have an overwhelming compulsion for conformity. They must be like everyone else, and everybody else must be exactly like them.

When the grandson was small, he was diagnosed with a variety of food allergies. Several of them caused behavioral problems, something the non-plagued are often not aware of.  Certain chemicals and compounds in food can cause physical and neurological stress, in turn causing moodiness, edginess, irritability, anger and lack of focus.

As a child it was relatively easy for his mother to watch his intake and ensure that he took his medication. As he neared puberty, and his character was developing, he regressed to sullen disinterest, if not disobedience, more so than most tweens.  Careful cross-examination revealed that he was sneaking foods from classmates, and not taking his pills.

When he was asked why he was doing this, even knowing his allergies, his answer was that he didn’t want to have allergies. He didn’t want a restrictive diet.  He didn’t want to take pills.  He just wanted to be like everyone else.

It didn’t take long to prove to him that ‘everyone else’ wasn’t like ‘everyone else.’ His Mom and his Grandma had to avoid certain foods and take medications.  When he looked closer, he found classmates with similar restrictions and needs.

Grandma, the chef, pointed out that the spelt-based cookies, cakes, bread and rolls, even the spelt-crust pizza, with lactose-free cheese and tamarind sauce, instead of tomato, were treats that no-one else got to have. Did he want her to stop making them for him?  The way to a man’s head, as well as his heart, is often through his stomach.

As a knowledgeable adult he can control the allergic affects, although he is still careful. As well as being a friendly, caring young man, he is largely indistinguishable from the rest of the herd, but he takes pride in knowing that he, like all the rest of us, is one-of-a-kind.  He is unique!  I don’t know why more of us can’t embrace that.