Saturday, January 14, 2017


I am often amazed but rarely surprised. I have been in the habit of saying this when a dream plays out in regular life, or things come together through "incredible coincidence". Now I'm looking at the pedigrees of both words.
    "Surprised" has military origins. In old Anglo-French usage, it means to be "attacked unexpectedly", to be seized, invaded or overpowered. Only later does it take on the gentler meaning of being startled by something unexpected.
     What about "amazed"? In the older sense, it is to be "stupefied", "bewildered", or even "made crazy'; it's related to "maze".
     Hmm, maybe I'll go over to just saying, "Wow". That has a fine Scottish pedigree (first recorded in 1510) and shakes its kilt everywhere in the United States, where I live.

No comments: