The calendar alleges that summer is waning and fall is making its ascendancy (see what I did there? ha ha) but the temps of recent days do not support the theory. Those who love summer are probably tristful at the passage of this glorious annual epoch and the end of their gardens (some two months away, c’mon little Aussie pumpkin, you can make it).

The RDP word today is “tristful” — OK, it’s a poor workman who blames his tools, but really? Why? No one uses that word. We have a real ENGLISH word for that. We have “sad.” Even in “tristful’s” prime (which I do not doubt was very short) it probably made people tristful to read it.

Which makes me want to make a plug for English. English is a GREAT language. English made Esperanto unnecessary. English is the great whore of world languages (“tristful” being an example of this whoring). English has complicated spelling because of its relentless whoring, but a simple grammar and is politically enlightened enough to have no gendered words!!

Tristful is a Latinate word — I think of French origin (its most probable national mother, some relatives in Medieval Latin) — and I have images of anachronistic pre-Rafaelite ladies in bright paintings, languid in their “tristesse,” while their inaccurately appointed knightly lover rides his gorgeous charger into battle for her honor — which he probably took, who knows?

Other languages borrowed that word, too (thank you Roman de la Rose for polluting all honest Nordic and Germanic tongues with your effete dialect). Swedish uses “tristess” but it has another word, a legit Swedish word for this, and that — this is GREAT — “sorg.”

You might think none of this matters, but here’s the deal. When England was conquered by, uh, William (Guillaume) the Conqueror, English was made illegal. Can you imagine (I actually can) English rebels in back allies whispering in good honest Anglo/Saxon, looking over their shoulders hoping not to be heard by the gendarmes linguistique?

I am gently advocating a little loyalty to those brave Brits skulking in the shadows, trying to save their language from the fastidious claws of their French oppressors.

18 thoughts on “Sorg

  1. Sorg is also a German word, but means “care” in the sense of “Heb Sorg” so we would say in Swiss German, “take care”. And that is so true, English really did make Esperanto unnecessary.

  2. If we could but have a set of respectful gender-neutral pronouns I could be happy! Referring to a single person as “they” or one of its variants is impossible grammar and confusing. Using “it” is insulting.

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