With the Passing of Time


Posted on: April 3, 2009

\FAYN\ | verb

1 : to give a false appearance of : induce as a false impression
2 : to assert as if true : pretend

This is one of those words that people who are just learning english must look at and think we’re all nuts. Why not just ‘fane,’ why all the funny eig business? Of course, our handy dandy online etymology dictionary tells us it comes from French (feign, feindre) and the Latin fingere. It still doesn’t explain why we didn’t simplify the spelling.

This is also another of those words where World of Warcraft pops up on the first page of links right along with the definitions. You know, I get that it’s a popular game. And I appreciate that in some way it might be helping the vocabulary of the people who play it. After all, it sounds much more interesting to feign death than to play possum. But its prominence in the searches is beginning to get a little old.

I kind of have to put one of the pictures they use as an example (because there’s no way we could possibly imagine what it might look like to pretend to be dead).

Source: WOWHead; please click for original image

There’s also another picture on that page if you need further assistance figuring out what it looks like to feign death. But be careful if you decide to use this tactic. According to the WowWiki you lose all aggro (??) and your enemies might be able to resist being tricked. Then you’d end up a bit like Faramir’s lieutenant with Gothmog shoving a spear through your heart (although, one could almost see that as a mercy kill, he was already wounded and wasn’t playing dead).

I know in one breath I’m all sarcastic about one nerdy obsession and in the next reveal my equally nerdy obsession. Except mine is literature so I think I win. Although I use a film reference so … hell, I’m allowed to be snobby in my nerdiness. Where would we nerds be if we couldn’t be a little snobby.

One of the more interesting google image search pictures is from the Sims 2 (yet another obsession) but unfortunately the picture isn’t available anymore. But the Sims story blog it came from is. The writing isn’t atrocious, but I had kind of thought it was from a teenager but she’s nearly 30. However, creativity is always good, and letting the Sims inspire you to write is definitely good.

There’s an interesting poem at redbubble.com called God Feigning Sleep by J. Robin Whitley: “… you are feigning sleep. You are waiting on me to act.” Something to think about.

And finally, two interesting quotes:

“The writer cannot abandon himself simply to inspiration, and feign innocence vis a vis language, because language is never innocent.” – Juan Goytisolo

“As adults feign disinterest in science – children can grab hold of it to distinguish themselves.” – Norman Macleod

© 2009 With the Passing of Time


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Willingness to join soil, sound, hands; memory follows me ~ Viggo Mortensen
April 2009
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Daily words come from Merriam-Webster's word of the day. All rambling comes from my head.


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