In proud confusion

When red sun  drops and  cooling night  rolls in
Darkness masks both danger and our vision
Ancient minds fear   day won’t come again

Courage for the  delicate   seems thin
We  wrestle  with  our horrid indecision
When   sun  drops deep and   night   rolls  softly in

But now , new stricken by   a dread of sin
Who shall doubt  the soul’s   derision?
Our  ancient minds fear   day won’t come again

When  we sleep we’re entertained within
Dark dreams squander all   illusion
When  deep sun  drops and   gentle night  rolls in

In reverie we’re loved  and  so our hearts open
Then  fancy turns to full communion
While ancient minds fear   day won’t come again

And so  it was that our own life began
When sperm leaped up in  proud confusion.
When  deep sun  dropped and  a   new night  rolled in
When  ancient  hearts cried  “Day  shall come again”










Officious or official?


 Usage Notes

‘Officious’ vs. ‘Official’

Plus, a limerick to help you distinguish between these two commonly confused words

The words officious and official are often confused, which is reasonable enough, since we frequently have this habit with words that share a beginning. But they needn’t bedevil, and by looking at the history of each word it becomes fairly simple to distinguish between the two

As an adjective, ‘official’ means “of or relating to an office, position, or trust.” ‘Officious’ describes an annoying person who tries to tell other people what to do in a way that is not wanted or needed.

The words share a parentage in the Latin word officium, which could mean either “a helpful act,” “duty or obligation,” and “a person’s regular employment or position.” Officium gave rise to two distinct words in Latin, each one of which subsequently became one of these two English words under discussion here. Officiosus came from adding the suffix –osus, indicating “full of,” and the word took the meaning of “eager to serve or help.” The suffix –alis (meaning “relating to”) when added to officium brought about the word officialis, which in Latin initially had the meaning of “relating to duty or obligation,” and later took on the meaning of “a magistrate’s assistant.”

When officious came into English, in the 15th century, it retained the meaning that it had had in Latin. The earliest sense of the word was “dutiful,” but it also had the meaning “eager to serve or help” at about the same time. It did not take long, however, for the word to take on the additional, and now most common, meaning (“volunteering one’s services where they are neither asked nor needed”); there is evidence that this sense was attached to officious by the end of the 16th century.

Official came into English somewhat earlier than officious; it has enjoyed a wider range of meanings and seen greater popularity than its meddlesome cousin. The earliest use of official, beginning in the 14th century, was as a noun, referring to a person who has been appointed to an ecclesiasticalcourt. It began to see use as an adjective soon after, with the now-obsolete meaning of “performing a function or service.”

If you are uncertain about how to distinguish between these two words there are a couple of ways to tell them apart. The first, and most obvious one, is that officious will typically only function as an adjective in English, and not as a noun; official, on the other hand, hopscotches between these parts of speech with aplomb. Additionally, words that are formed with the –osus suffix (as officiousis) tend to be more likely to be used to describe unfortunate characteristics than those words that are formed from the –alis suffix. The former group includes such specimens as contentious, bilious,flagitious, and meretricious; the latter group includes such specimens as fiscal, hebdomadal, andlittoral.

It is perhaps a stretch to say that one is incorrect in using officious as a synonym for official, since the word did indeed have that meaning at some point in the past, and there are many instances of writers in English referring to “officious capacity” or “officious role”. However, it is highlyanachronistic, and if your goal is to be readily understood you are advised to eschew this use in your writing.

In the event that you still have trouble keeping these two words straight in your mind we offer the following limerick.

An official may well be officious,
(or tendentious, even malicious)
While the words may share roots
They are not in cahoots
And conflating them is injudicious.


Smoke all day and make sure that they’re tipped

Movement helps the mind by sorrow  gripped
New thoughts  help us  leap from out  the rut
Exercise  and kiss your  own red  lips

Smoke all day and make sure  your cigs  are tipped
Drink some whiskey,beer and grow  a gut
Movement helps the mind by sorrow  gripped

Beat your walls and bedclothes with a whip
Move out now and buy  a hermit’s hut
Exercise ,why! Kiss  your lover’s lips

Walk ten miles and  write a thousand quips
Decorate your place with  smokey soot
Movement helps the mind by sorrow  gripped

Go to port and snap the line of ships
Keep your chin up,even make it jut!
Movement helps the mind by sorrow  gripped
Exercise   and kiss    a thousand lips!

Mary writes a letter

The Pilchards.
23,Sweetnames Avenue
Near Nottingham.
Dear Jane

Hope you are keeping well in this unusually hot s weather.

Stan has had flu.It made him so bad tempered and waspish
that I took up the Duraglit polish and got him to polish all the brass, except the front door knob, as that doesn’t come off.
Mind you,it made the bedroom smell odd… a mistake,perhaps…
so I sprinkled lavender oil around.
He seems to get thinner and I seem to get fatter.
So our average w eight remains constant.
What a relief.I’d like to be weighed as a married woman.
Can you believe this..
I’ve got chilblains! It’s those dratted blood vessels of mine.
Still,I polished some old plum colored leather and wear them in the house.
We seem to be doing polishing frequently here.. boots,furniture,apples.
How is your new book “Nonsense:A.N.Whitehead and Lewis Carroll” coming on?
Hope it’s progressing….to a nonsensical ending.
I’ve got a new book of poetry coming out in April
[from Polar bears publishers]
It’s called,”An unpolished performance.”
My fourth book on Wittgenstein‘s cats is almost finished.
And the publishers can’t wait for the photographs…I’ll get a friend to do those for me!!
It gives me a change from all that polishing.
I’ve begun to talk to myself out loud…. in the street.
Just seeing if I can still do my old Lancashire accent.
I suppose it might  worry people but no one has said anything as yet.They may be afraid.
“That which is unsaid can,nevertheless,still be heard.
Stan is still involved romantically with Anne, our next door neighbor.
I can’t blame him as chilblains and Wittgenstein not very romantic.
When I think of how we used to be,it makes me smile and feel sadness too.
I wonder if I can find someone new for a romance,myself… someone with Asperger’s syndrome
possibly…as I’ve just been diagnosed.It’s quite common in mathematicians.It may be an
advantage in concentrating a lot
I need a boyfriend with weak eyes as my clothes are all full of moth holes
and I’m damned if I’m going to buy new ones.
I can’t see well enough to darn but I’ve sewn the holes up neatly thus
giving a strange pleated effect to my clothes.
On my merino wool knitted trousers, one hole was right on the ass.
It looks now as if I’ve been shot in the rear…
but I can’t see it.So it does not exist.
Sometimes in the past I would iron on those motifs like
I think it would look odd having a butterfly just there…. or indeed
anything else like wild rose.
I could make a little sign saying
“Keep clear,from my rear.This is a hole where a moth scored a goal.”
Still,not many people are going to look there now I hope….
I seem to have stopped knitting but am still drawing.
Meantime I’ve just ironed some of my winter clothes as it’s  gone chilly..
and am planning to iron all my pink and blue  lingerie
as I believe it kills any germs left when you wash at 30 deg.I got those colours in case I should change sex or is it gender?
I wonder if I should iron the sheets?
Could I do it while they are on the bed?
I don’t wash them much as it wears them out and me too.
I am going to take up baking again because Stan is getting so thin.
I fancy a Russian cheesecake as it had a lot of protein in it.
I have a genuine Russian cookbook and also am waiting for a delivery of a
Jewish cookery book as I have lost it fell down onto my head last week
.God only knows where that came from.
but I believe there were good cheesecakes as Jewish cooking has much in
common with Russian,perhaps because once many Jews lived in Russia.I just
made friends with one here….he is charming and like me he hates golf.
I have got almost all the Penguin cookery books ever printed but mislaid a
In fact it’s quite hard to get into the kitchen
with all these books on the shelves.And a little food.
I was comforted to read that the parent’s of John Burra,the artist,
had books piled every where in their large house….
and he was very untidy too.
So all I need is  talent and practice and I’ll be an artist.
After all,anyone can be untidy but not everyone will practice their Art.
I’d like to practice the arts of love.
They say you should love your neighbor as yourself,
but personally I prefer the neighbor or even the milkman to myself.
Meanwhile I’m happy with Emile our cat
and my 500 photos of Wittgenstein.
I shall make Stan a lemon sponge pudding.
That is the love he wants…Food.
“If music be the food of love I’ll cohabit with a pure white dove.
And while he coos and sings for me.
I’ll try not to :fall out of the tree,
Get stung by a bee,
Have psychotherapy
Make more  enemies
Let my thought free,
Hurt my knee.
Let moths frighten me.
Well,time for some tea.
Now Jane, please write to me soon.
I love to see your so strangely beautiful handwriting
and to hear about Whitehead and Cambridge and all the weird dons.
I hope it’s not too damp and cold there near that river.
Keep warm and make a note of any intriguing happenings to relate to me.
And anything beautiful you can see or hear.I hope Edward is writing
regularly..where is he doing his research now… did you say Stanford?
Maybe you should install Skype..then again,perhaps not as you would have to
wash your hair too much… and comb it too…perhaps we could wear wigs.
Do write soon
,Love always,Mary.