Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Would That I Could...
"Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored."
Be honest. Don’t you wish you had the nerve to say that at certain times? Or, better yet, that it was a socially acceptable thing to say?
The “good-bye” bit adds a nice touch. Kind of softens the blow. (Maybe.)
Think of all the places you might like to use such an escape clause – meetings, mandatory social functions, parties, listening to speeches or having been introduced (by a friend!) to an excruciatingly boring person…
And since I’m already clutching a one way ticket to hell (prior sins), I’ll even add sermons to the list. When I was a churchgoer, it pained me to hear the minister begin his sermon with the words, “This morning I will be covering four points….” So, you listen attentively to the first point, sort of drift off during the second and - BAM – are suddenly alert and dismayed when you hear him say, “Now on to my third point.” We’re only on the third point?!! No more drifting. Now you’re antsy sitting on that pew.
Anyway, back to my original point. Yes, I was recently (as in, yesterday) caught in a boring conversation. I remained polite throughout. But if such an expression were socially acceptable (did not hurt anyone’s feelings) I would have used it.
It occurs to me as I write that people might feel the same way when stuck in conversation with me - might wish to take their leave of me. Ouch.
At least I’m not at the point where I bore myself – it would be awfully difficult to say good-bye and leave under those circumstances. So far, me, myself and I find me to be excellent company.
For those of you who might be curious as to the origins of the word good-bye (as I was) here’s a brief history from Bartleby.com
“No doubt more than one reader has wondered exactly how goodbye is derived from the phrase “God be with you.” To understand this, it is helpful to see earlier forms of the expression, such as God be wy you, god b'w'y, godbwye, god buy' ye, and good-b'wy. The first word of the expression is now good and not God, for good replaced God by analogy with such expressions as good day, perhaps after people no longer had a clear idea of the original sense of the expression. A letter of 1573 written by Gabriel Harvey contains the first recorded use of goodbye: “To requite your gallonde [gallon] of godbwyes, I regive you a pottle of howdyes,” recalling another contraction that is still used.”
Love that! A pottle of howdyes!