Saturday, 14 June 2008

A Word With A View

You‘ve got to love language. It’s such a freaky thing. And it’s amazing what we have words for ... as well as what we don’t have words for. It doesn’t surprise me that there are words like ‘home’ or ‘lover’ or ‘life’ or ‘death’, or words for any event or action or object that we regularly refer to. What does leave me gob-smacked though is that we have a word for the very singular act of throwing someone (or something) out of the window:


How weird is that?

I mean, it’s not like something that happens very often. I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall ever hearing of someone who was thrown out of a window, let alone doing it myself (although now that the word is in my vocab ...). Besides, in Australia, where the majority of houses are single storey, pushing someone out of the window would just make them mad. Madder than a cut snake, as they say in these here parts.

It seems that if ‘defenestration’ exists in the lexicon, then there should be specific words to describe a number of other singular acts that occur on a more (frustratingly) regular basis, such as:

when the toast slides off the plate and lands butter-side down on the floor;

when the biscuit breaks into your hot drink after you’ve dunked it;

when the cork snaps as you’re pulling it out of a bottle of wine.

So, this week, I’m searching for single words to describe any of the above, or for other events that fall into this category, or for other bizarre words like ‘defenestration’ which seem as if they oughtn’t really to exist, but do.

As always, all contributions gratefully received.

To cap it all, I browsed YouTube in the hope of finding a clip of someone being pushed out a window and found this:

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