Monday, December 17, 2007

Fusty To You, Too

I was telling someone yesterday evening what "fusty" means. Basically, moldy. Or musty. I was thinking of mulch, or crumbling brown leaves in the fall, that type of thing. Fruit trees worn down by summer's heat and summer's fecund task, leaning into the coming fall chill.

However, just to be sure I took another look in the dictionary and discovered fusty also means, "rigidly old-fashioned or reactionary" (Merriam-Webster). That meaning took me by surprise. I don't consider myself old-fashioned, though at this point in my life I do lean more toward old than young. (Sadly, I have never been fashionable.) As for being reactionary, that's something I generally try to avoid, though I do have my crankypants moments. Maybe I should have read the dictionary more closely before I chose the name of my blog?

Mostly, regarding the word, "fusty," I loved the way it sounded. Still do. It intrigues me how some words just plain tickle me, regardless of their meaning, because of the sound. I sometimes try to divorce all meaning from a word, and just listen to it. When I am successful, it can be a refreshing moment.

I know very little about opera, but lately have enjoyed listening to it on occasion. I like the fact that it is (usually) sung in another language. That way, very little "dictionary" meaning is attached to the words and I'm left with the sound and, of course, the enormous emotion behind it. Satisfying!

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