Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Love of Language

Overheard, "She'll anticipate his coming with ennui."

A lovely little phrase I thought. Normally, we don't use 'anticipation' in quite this way; anticipation implies some sort of excitement or emotion. Witness' "His coming filled her with anticipation." Even "She'll anticipate his coming with apathy." feels more correct.

But I think the overheard utterance tells an entire story in one sentence. We infer that he comes frequently, often enough that there is little to anticipate it any more. His coming is part of a routine, a pattern that she no longer sees any purpose in. The situation is filled with emotional inertia, and the meaning of the scene has become lost.

Googlebombing for a cause: 

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