From Round to Square (and back)

For The Emperor's Teacher, scroll down (↓) to "Topics." It's the management book that will rock the world (and break the vase, as you will see). Click or paste the following link for a recent profile of the project:

A new post appears every day at 12:05* (CDT). There's more, though. Take a look at the right-hand side of the page for over four years of material (2,000 posts and growing) from Seinfeld and country music to every single day of the Chinese lunar calendar...translated. Look here ↓ and explore a little. It will take you all the way down the page...from round to square (and back again).
*Occasionally I will leave a long post up for thirty-six hours, and post a shorter entry at noon the next day.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Felicitous Felinity (2)—Contumely

Click here for the introduction to the Round and Square series Felicitous Felinity.
A year ago on Round and Square (7 July 2012)—Asian Ethnicities 1B: Han
Two years ago on Round and Square (7 July 2011)—Middles: T.S. Eliot's "Marina"
[a] Obey RF

We reach another dimension of feline life and vocabulary today. If you are a longtime reader of Round and Square, you know that I have already written about "feline overlordship" and the prostration of human beings to their every whim. And this reminds me of two of my favorite sayings about cats:

Cats don't have owners; they have "staff."

Cats were worshiped as gods in ancient Egypt; 
they have never forgotten this.

Contumely—haughty, imperious (and a little overbearing). Their "humans" still click into action for their every whim. Take a look at the greatest practitioner of the English language who ever lived. He employed the word in a little soliloquy that starts something like this: 2B or Knot 2B...

Contumely. Now we come to the twist that I didn't tell you about in the introduction. If your native language is not English, go to the comments section and give a rough translation that "works" for you. I am hoping to get a whole passel of approximations for "contumely" in languages ranging from Arabic to Polish to Xhosa to Zulu. And, of course they will be approximations. Language doesn't have exact equivalents. That would be boring.

And, if you really want to think about how to make use of vocabulary, use a sentence that you might actually speak or write

          The governor's silly, harsh contumelies about the lack of harmony in society 
          have worn thin with the voters, who would far prefer that he actually govern.

Contumely. It is haughty and overbearing when it comes to politicians, but I just click into obedient step when the kits want their food, warm blankets, and ear scratches. They run the show, and we are mere homo sapiens automatons...with big, football-sized brains that teach us all sorts of ways to follow the lead of our feline overlords. 


It's not just for dinner anymore.
[c] Sleepy-haughty RF

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