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A Word in your Ear

This post is about words. In fact it proposes a conscious effort by the State to preserve some words or at least to promote them.

Perhaps the Royal Irish Academy could leave off running the Irish Secret Service (what else could it be doing, save that?) and discharge the job.

The first word to be promoted, I suggest is “rere”. It is a Dublin spelling of a word referring to the back of something, typically a house. It clings to life, written, I think, only on rubbish bins in Dublin city centre, as a direction to where the bin properly belongs in relation to its building. It dates from Cromwellian times. The UK has forgotten the word (and much else besides of Cromwellian times, and issues).

“Rear” is already carrying too heavy a load in the form of “rearing horses” and “rearing children”.

The second word is “mawkish”. The current Taoiseach, in his fashion, has adopted this concept in his (unattributed) communications to the Irish media. Now he should expressly adopt the word, come clean, and admit that his soulful references to the loneliness and responsibilities of power are mawkish.

One Comment

  1. Hear hear for the demise of “rere”.