This blog is for everyone who uses words.

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



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Thing To Be Today: suspicious.

Some years ago a late-running train meant that I found myself stranded at a railway station on the North Yorkshire Moors. It was winter, it was getting dark, I had an hour to wait for my connection, and the station environs made Wuthering Heights look like something directed by Cecil B DeMille.

There was in fact just one person within screaming distance, a young woman sitting on the only bench on the platform. 

It wasn't until after I'd taken a seat myself that I discovered she was muttering - and not just muttering, but groaning and moaning and giving out mad chuckles and yelps that echoed round the deserted station and would, quite frankly, have made Nelly Dean herself look askance.

Now, I like to be friendly, and in these circumstances I was keen, as you may imagine, to avoid causing offence. But what to do? Move off and hide behind a lamp post and risk being thought stand-offish? Or stay where I was and hope my presence wouldn't cause this lady further agitation?

My mind was made up by a change in my companion. She suddenly sat bolt upright, turned towards me, fixed me with wild pale eyes, and said, very loudly and clearly: "SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES!" 

Then she went back to muttering again.

I went and found a lamp post.

Anyway. 

It used to be the case that only dodgy circumstances made us suspicious, but now we are always being offered chances to help Nigerian princes with their finances, and or to be helped by the Microsoft technical department, I'm afraid that suspicion is a daily requirement of existence.

I don't let it sour my existence.

I do, however, do my best to avoid deserted railway stations.

Thing To Be Today: suspicious. This word comes from the Latin suspicere, to mistrust.






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