I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means...

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News articles abridge confusing concepts through syntax, vocabulary, and, often, intellectual query. Some articles are efficacious: discussing topical events, evaluating perspectives both audacious and prudent. Some articles promote sedition and confusion, often concomitant with the former group of articles.

For the lazy sybarite and those novice in the art of lexicography, this article offers no respite. So, I beseech you, deny your scurrilousness and join me in embracing our collective, dusty, neglected dictionaries and consider this word:

Inconceivable—not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.




In the enchanting movie, "A Princess Bride" our lovable but incompetent Sicilian crime boss Vizzini says the word “Inconceivable!” after his every attempt to outsmart Wesley fails. Time and time again during the movie we hear “Inconceivable!!” knowing all too well Vizzini is improperly using the word “inconceivable.” Vizzini is finally corrected when one of his posse, the Spanish master swordsman Inigo Montoya, says, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Have you ever stopped to think, “What was Vizzini doing wrong?” or maybe “Well, he was just being hyperbolic!” Well I have, and I present to you three options and you, dear reader, may decide just how mistaken Vizzini is.

Option one: Catachresis—A misuse of a word; an application of a term to something which it does not properly denote.
Vizzini, while planning the heist to kidnap Buttercup for ransom, accidentally established “inconceivable” to be a synonym with “improbable.” This happens all the time with the word “literally.” From doctors and drama queens to politicians like Chris Traeger, the word literally has almost developed another definition: figuratively.

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Vizzini wants to express disappointment and shock that his plan failed. He doesn’t mean to use the textbook definition of inconceivable, rather he has a case of catachresis. Bam. Option one.

Option two: Lethologica—The inability to remember the correct word.
Moments that take your breath away may also give you a severe case of lethologica. Also, extreme stress. Or maybe, it's just a word you don't use that often. Picture this: You’re at Super Bowl 45 and Christina Aguilera is singing the national anthem. Pretty easy gig for a singer like her, right?


But you noticed something weird about it: she forgot to say the word "rampart's." Slipped her mind. She probably hadn’t ever used the word rampart outside of singing that song. Thus, lethologica. Vizzini is probably not accustomed to failing at his job. With Fezzik the Giant and Inigo the swordsman at his side, the team of bandits were underperforming. And Vizzini, blindsided by their failures, forgets the word improbable. But he has to say something! Thus, inconceivable. Option two.

Option three: Sophomania—A delusion of superior intelligence.
Vizzini has surrounded himself with a less-than-intelligent muscleman and a Spaniard whose English is considered sub-par. This option presents Vizzini as a mastermind who is not really a master of his mind. Sure, he managed a few tricks and understands dialectics as if he were Hegel himself. However, delusions being delusions, Vizzini thinks he can simply say whatever he wants and assume it is correct because his surroundings propagate that behavior. Are the blunders truly inconceivable? Of course not. But does that word help him to assert his influence over his two subordinates? Hell yes. Option three.

Though this is really a trivial matter and there is no true answer why our Sicilian friend has a bad case of malapropism, I hope you’ve learned a little bit about some words. And maybe even about yourself? Wait… news articles that make you think? Inconceivable!

Note: My money is on option one.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

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