Tuesday, July 5, 2011

WWW: Extempore [and law firms]

My vocabulary took a great big leap yesterday...in all things commercial law.

I'm really enjoying this mid-year break.  I have no idea what is about to happen next.

Last week I was eating ice cream from Dairy Bell in the sun overlooking Docklands Melbourne.
Then suddenly I turned 20.
Before that I walked down the driveway of my childhood home in Thornbury for the first time since I was seven years old (can't even describe how that felt).
The weekend before last I was helping a group of children sticky tape bits of paper to more bits of paper.  And rescuing my skirt from a pair of scissors.
I went to a health conference and came back swearing to take my vitamins regularly.  I've made more lasagna with my nonna, I've vacuumed the house, I've sewed a little, shopped a lot, written more of my novel, vacuumed the house, lay on the couch for an entire weekend (winter sickness - must take those vitamins), and vacuumed the house.  I worked in a law firm for the day, and read Northanger Abbey in the city library.

Only a few things remain constant amidst the madness of unscheduled life.   The wood fire (ah, must go chuck on another log), the dust I'm always vacuuming in the house, and chai lattes at McDonalds (sorry authentic chai fans, but McDonalds is everywhere and hot drinks on cold mornings keep me sane).

But back to commercial law.

The above spiel illustrates how random my activities have been for the past month, and that in turn illustrates how random this law firm thing was.
Random here means 'entirely unexpected, odd ball and possibly irrelevant'.

Random is not my wonderful word of the week.  Let's go with something a little more intelligent.

Extempore {adv.} Spoken or done without preparation.

Extempore is a fancy way of expressing spontaneity, improvisation or the impromptu.

Before you run off and practice your new word, you need to make sure you are pronouncing it correctly.  I point this out because I was mentally pronouncing it completely wrong.  I know this because I clicked the handy little microphone which popped up and my computer spoke to me.

I was saying ex-tem-pore ('pore' as in amore).  Oh wait, you might not know how to pronounce amore, that's not even English.  Sorry.

If we want to sound like we know what we're saying, we say ex-tempore (as in temporeeeee)  That's not English either. Sorry.

Maybe this will help.  /ikˈstempərē/
No?  Didn't think so.  I won't attempt this again.   

Working in a law firm extemporaneously, or in other words, without studying law, is a sure way of revealing just how ignorant you really are (and how limited your vocabulary is).

It was fun!  I discovered a whole new world of red tape, litigations, and enough paper work to fill my entire bedroom from floor to ceiling.  And that's just for one case.  I learnt three new words: counsel, valuations, and discoverable.  You may think you already know those words, but don't be too sure.

I also talked to the lawyer of this anonymous law firm who told me not be become a lawyer if I was looking for glamour.  I told him I could honestly say I saw not even a sparkle of glamour in the paper work I'd waded through for six hours.

It was still fun.  Hence, I gave my name and number when asked, and genuinely told them I would love to be back.  Next time it won't be such an extemporaneous affair.

1 comment:

  1. Last week I was ice skating at Docklands. *happy sigh*
    I love this new word and the 3 different ways of explaining how to pronounce it! I understood all three ways, so felt suitably impressed with myself. I shall use it today and flabbergast the locals. :)
    Oh man, McD's chai latte on a cold morning sounds divine ... Ky tells me its been *freezing* lately (for her to admit that shows me how cold it really is), so even a hot, um, hot, er --fail. I was trying to think of a bad hot drink. But ANYTHING would be good to warm up the frozen extremities!


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