This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Thing Not To Be Today: garish.

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

So declares Jenny Joseph in her 1961 poem Warning. I've always found it a source of hope. One day I'll shake off the restraints of...well, sanity, quite possibly: but then sanity is like gold, beautiful and useful but so rare that you have to be able to make do without it for most of the time.

Anyway, garish. Garish is, my Collins Dictionary says, gay or colourful in a crude or vulgar manner; gaudy. Well, I don't mind looking gay (presumably gay in this context means happy, but, hey, I don't mind either way). But crude and vulgar...there's a point where crudity and vulgarity prove painful to the delicate sensibility.

There's also a point where it becomes repulsive, and even frightening. And we wouldn't want to worry anyone, would we.

I know they're fashionable, but those brass pineapple biscuit barrels are just going to have to go.

Thing Not To Be Today: garish. This word first appeared in the 1500s. It came from an obsolete English word gaure, which meant to stare.

File:Garden gnome with wheelbarrow-20051026.jpg
photo by Ioannes.baptista

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