Friday, August 19, 2011

WWW: Mythicise

[This post comes to you through metaphorical blood, sweat and tears.]

The Mouse struggled for days to overcome the great force which had surrounded her.  It was sucking her in, like bathwater down the plughole, gurgling, pulling and pushing until she had no choice but to succumb to the vortex and be washed away in a wave of lectures, readings and outlines.

Tossed around like a leaf in a book of English Literature that weighs 2.2 kg, The Mouse finally found the strength to surface and answer the calls of her neglected blog.  Pushing aside over 100 freshly printed PDFs which threatened to drown her in dry ink, The Mouse used her mechanical pencil to fight off duelling due dates and crawl towards the computer.  She hacked her way through a forest of Word Docs and Google Chrome tabs, hitting the red 'x's with super precision, until finally... she found herself in a safe haven of friendly photos and cute fonts.  A place she could truly call her own.  A Kingdom for a Mouse.

t a t i e l l e
I'm thinking this is a good kingdom.

Cough, cough.

Yes, well perhaps it didn't quite happen like that.

Mythicise* {v.} /ˈmiTHəˌsīz/  Turn into myth; interpret mythically

 I use this word to express the way human kind make things sound much more interesting than they really are.

[I mean, did you really want to read about how I was getting tied up with university work, and putting off blogging?]  No.  Didn't think so.

This is the exact same principle used by people who lived, let's say, over 1000 years ago.  Not much has changed, go figure!

Trojan horse, Beowulf, Johnny Appleseed, Lady Godiva, King Arthur, Nero the Fiddler.

They're all interesting stories, but can we actually call them history?

Probably not (say my peer-reviewed uni resources).  Oops, I just gave it away.

Yes, Wonderful Word of the Week no. 7 is inspired by that vortex of bathwater I was mythicising about earlier in this post.  In other words, I still haven't really stopped studying.  Myth and history go hand in hand.

We might not be able to prove that Lady Godiva rode down the streets of Coventry in the nude.  But she certainly existed, and still does, thanks to the mythicising and romanticising that went on.  I mean, who would read the Domesday Survey and remember one Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, Earl of somewhere or other?

I'll bet there wouldn't have been any paintings of her on Wikipedia either.

The famous Lady Godiva (making her decision to ride without clothes apparently).

Mythicising is an important part of history.  There wouldn't be much there without it.  And it happens whether we like it or not, every time we exaggerate, pass on a rumour, or if you're an Australian, yarn around the barbecue. 

(On a side note:  is that a polar bear Lady Godiva is standing on?)

*Okay, so this was hard to spell.  Mythicise or Mythicize?  To be or not to be?  In the end I listened to Wikipedia (possibly a mythicised source).

'the -ise form is preferred in Australian English at a ratio of about 3:1' 

That's good enough for me: the '-ise' have it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...