Monday, November 14, 2011

Awareness without action is worthless

One of my weekend pleasures is watching old movies . . . old like from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.  I like to plop myself down on the couch with a ball of yarn and a crochet hook or knitting needles, watch the classics and just chill.

I don’t know if those movies depict how people really interacted or spoke but it’s good clean fun.  Sometimes the dialogue includes a word that gets stuck in my head, a word that isn’t used in modern everyday conversation.  It dig, dig, digs.  Eventually, I make the effort to check it out. 

One word that comes to mind is ‘picayune’.  I heard it in the movie Mr. Skeffington from 1944 starring Bette Davis and Claude Rains.  Bette was nominated for an Oscar for her performance.  But that’s neither here nor there . . . the point is that that silly word is now stuck in my brain and I’m here to purge it.

This is what I found out about picayune . . .

Used up until the mid-1800’s, a picayune was a small Spanish coin, worth half a real . . . about six cents.  Interestingly, the word is actually derived from a French word meaning ‘small coin’.

Eventually, a ‘picayune’ came to mean something that is piddling or worthless.

So there you have it.

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