This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Thing To Be Today But Only In A Good Way: be fascinated.


I once had a conversation with a woman with a nose-piercing from which dangled a pearl on a small gold ring.

The impression was, unfortunately, of a dangling shiny sphere of, well, snot. I was fascinated by it to the extent that I was unable to attend to what she was saying.

A good story well-told can be quite as fascinating. I remember my husband coming home from work at a critical moment of Ann Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, and I was so bound up in the story that I had trouble recognising him - and he'd only been gone a few hours.

If we're lucky we find interesting things to fascinate us, whether it's beetles, big diggers, words, clothes, politics or soaps (not that it's always possible to distinguish between the last two).

If we're unlucky the thing that fascinates us might be the stare of a snake. Or, heaven help us all, the hairstyle of a powerful man.

Being fascinated is wonderful but dangerous because it involves our being pulled away from reality.

Is there a clicking-fingers mobile phone app to bring us to our senses?

You know, the world might be a safer place if there was.

Thing To Be Today But Only In A Good Way: fascinated. This word comes from the Latin fascinum, a bewitching.

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