Monday, April 5, 2010

LANGUAGE 01: The Reticent/Reluctant Hesitation

In today's Chronicles of Higher Education, Gabriela Montela writes in the On Hiring column:
"In a recent post, Lesboprof chides herself for having been reticent about pursuing a leadership position in academe...."
Montela quotes a portion of the blog that does not contain the word RETICENT.  I checked the actual post, however, and it does mention "reticence."  Whoever's word it is, it is wrong.

Had the blogger been RETICENT, then she would have applied for the job but not told her friends about it. What she describes is being RELUCTANT to pursue (not RETICENT about pursuing) the position.  Indeed her reluctance turned to refusal: she never did apply.

RELUCTANT may not be precisely the right word, but RETICENT is absolutely wrong.

RETICENT/RELUCTANT confusion, which I hadn't noticed at all until Mary F. White, friend and writer, pointed it out a couple of years ago, is exploding.  I see it at least once a month.  I have three theories to

The Start of Several Series

I plan to post a number of pieces that share a general subject.   They will constitute series (serieses?) although I won't be writing regularly to any single series nor finishing one series before starting another.  I will write when the spirit -- usually irritation plus procrastination -- moves me.  Many will be  based on things I have written over the years for myself or in email to friends or as (rejected) letters to the editor.

In myunpublishedworks, one series has already begun.  It consists of thoughts from the Stanford Technology Law Review February 2010 Symposium on Patent Reform.  Another was not billed as a series but could become one:  Citizens United. (Next in that series: freedom to speak v. freedom to speak anonymously.)  Other series in preparation are:  myths in patent law, bluebooking, writing better judicial opinions, and why knowledge is always power even for potential accused infringers.

In myunpublishedworks2, one series has begun but without the series title, which will be "Very Short Essays."  The first entry was http://myunpublishedworks2.blogspot.com/2009/09/merit-needs-publicist.html.  Like "Merit Needs a Publicist," the posts in that series will be written in poetry form. 

Other subjects I already know I will pursue are:  language, transportation, economics, friendship, and human anatomy.

It seems unlikely I would write more than 9 times about any of these subjects, but just in case, I will use two digit numbers, starting with 01.  Each essay in the series will be titled "SUBJECT-##:  Specific Title."

Today I start with LANGUAGE-01: The Reticent/Reluctant Hesitation.

RJM
April 5, 2010 
last rev 4/6/10.