Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rose is not rose is ...

... not rose, in so far as they are so different, hm? :)

Far be it from me, though, to contradict Gertrude Stein who in a certain context coined the phrase 'A rose is a rose is a rose'.

So, please don't feel metagobrolized*.

Actually, I chose the title just in order not to plagiarise jmb.

* with thanks to
Stan. By the way, those who wish to join us on our humble quest to resurrect this rose amongst words, are most welcome. Just sign in via the comment-section to this brilliant article.


  1. Oh dear, more beautiful than mine and no chewed or diseased leaves.

    By the way if you want to encourage resurrection of "that word" you'd better spell it correctly, she says laughingly.

  2. Ha ha, jmb,
    won't help to claim that I just want(ed) to test if anybody would notice that tiny incorrectness,hm?
    Well, so I shall retreat under the rocks of Seanhenge and - by writing it 100 times - exercise spelling metagrobolize.

  3. Beautiful pictures, Sean! (And might I just comment that, while 'metagrobolize' is indeed a mighty word, I can understand why it feel out of fashion! It feels a bit clunky on the oul' tongue (and I see no reason to use it when I could use the more elegant "mystify" instead). Perhaps yourself or Stan (or other readers here) could convince me as to its merits?

  4. I presume those roses are all growing in your garden, Sean? What a lovely collection. Yesterday I was walking by a garden with roses stretching out over the wall, and I could not resist stopping for a good long shameless sniff! Thank you for the link, by the way. It is most kind of you, and I'm delighted that metagrobolize is catching on so quickly, and so internationally!

    Doubtful: mystify is a fine word too, with its own euphonious charm, but there is no harm in diversity! I like metagrobolize for several reasons. For one thing, it sounds funny, like gobble or metamorphosis. It also sounds almost made up, like a mad scientist's word in a children's book. It doesn't mean what I expected it to mean when I first saw it, yet it's a good match because it is itself metagrobolizing. I don't know about "clunky", but it's certainly sesquipedalian.

  5. after a homeric laughter (aren't we who are going to resurrect a 'dead word' in a way godlike, after all?):

    here you lived truly up to your name, my friend. [Still chuckling]
    Your objection is nevertheless comprehensable.
    Not without reason I call(ed) metagrobolize a rose amongst words - thus thorny; not only for the tongue, but also for him who would dare to spell it (An example you find/found above where for paedagogic reasons :) I let jump the 'r' from one syllable to the other.

    And yes, ... and here I am going to stop myself as I see that Stan did just - so to speak - anticipate most of my thoughts, by expressing them far more eloquently, though, than I (probably) ever could.

    So let me - as I just came to think of it - repeat what once in a pretty related context I 'said' to Chris: [...] A nice tiny aprosdokedon now and then can be most spicy an ingredience. :)

  6. Stan,
    you are most welcome.
    Yes, approaching Seanhenge the first you could do is bending over the little fence and take a sniff. Presently also the jasmine is blooming. :)

    As for our noble quest: I have no doubt that we shall soon win D.E. as our 'comrade-in-resurrecting-metagrobolize', too.

  7. I would not be surprised if those glorious, divine, esquisite, magnificent roses feel very neglected to have your attention diverted by words which do not truly reflect their splendour and gracefulness. I do enjoy an elaborate vocabulary (even with grubby syllables) but presently I'm all taken in by the radiance and fragrance of this presentation.

    I'm more inclined to let my eyes and my heart think of love. And also, alas, of fragility. We all know that roses, like romances, have a short life span. As the French poet, Ronsard, warns us: L'espace d'un matin...

    All might be gone by the time one says sesquipedalian and metagrobolization.

  8. Well said, Claudia! I'm sorry to say that I'm still not convinced by the merits of 'metagrobilization' (or 'metagrobilisation') (and also apologies for the misspellings in the comment above). While I like the idea that it exists, I feel that its obscurity and length rules it out of most conversations (except among friends, as here!). And I personally feel that, outside of said conversations among friends, recondite words such as this should be used primarily when they bring something to the table that no other word does, or add a poetic frisson that could not be achieved otherwise (and it would indeed be a challenge to use 'metagrobilize' poetically!). And it's too long to be used in Scrabble! So, I'm sorry to say, I must remain doubtful (although not metagrobilized)...
    As regards roses, I would would to breathe their fragrance, but I fear the resultant sneezing would blast the petals off!

  9. More apologies (I'm quite tired today!): I managed to misspell 'metagrob-o-lize' (not 'metagrob-i-lize') consistently throughout the above. The shame...

  10. Claudia,
    as they are cared for, I suppose our roses do not at all mind both to be put into one post: photographs of them and the advertising of an almost forgotten word; the more as being praised as glorious, divine, esquisite, magnificent.
    After all, aren't both the roses and words part of Omnium? :)
    How could we praise the beauty of a rose had we no words?
    Why should not be possible to care for the roses and at the same time for a 'lovely little word' the 'life' of which is endangered by negligence?
    Why should one not be (able to) both at the same time; f.e. gardener in Seanhenge and gardener in the realm of words.
    Just some thoughts.

    you can't, of course, know how much I do appreciate your tiny malheur.
    As my mother used to say when my father had to confess that he had burnt another hole in a curtain: "Oh, darling, I am so happy that even you are not entirely free of faults."

    Even more seriously:
    As said, all your objections are valid.
    It's foremost - and I think he will agree - the love for words that is 'driving' Stan and me.
    Of course, metagrobolise (see: I do prefer the British 's', too) can be called a recondite word.
    But - just one example - isn't love also? Deep? Recondite? Often mystifying? Metagrobolising?
    And is 'I love you' indeed the only phrase to describe this feeling / phenomenon?
    Why would lovers - well, at least some - try to find always new metaphers to praise the beauty of their beloved, why whisper tender petnames into their ears?
    No cantankerousness. Just some thoughts.

  11. What an erudite comment section you have here today Sean.

    Of course you realize you were "one up" on me Sean because I had to google metagrobolize after which my proofreader's (an occupation I pursued for several years in my youth) eye caught your misspelling. After all I cannot resurrect a word if I do not know what it means.

    I will not enter the s/z debate since I have lived here too long and have come to prefer it, since in fact that is the way it is uttered in speech and I suspect that defence (now I do cling to the English spelling here) of s versus z is often a reaction to the Americans using z, just as some Canadians defend labour instead of labor and the use of u in all those like words.

    However I doubt this word will be rolling off my tongue any time soon, even though its meaning has been burned into my brain thanks to you.

    Good luck with your quest and thank you for sharing your beautiful roses with us.

  12. jmb,
    thanks for your kind words. I am glad you enjoyed both the roses and our little discourse, in which (un)hidden you could certainly also find some grains of humo(u)r. :)

  13. I too have a love of language, with all its ambiguities and contradictions, and delight in unusual and resonant words! (I also favour "-ise" over "-ize" and tend not to use American spellings, for the simple reason that I like the look of, say, "harbour" over "harbor" and "centre" over "center".) So I feel we must agree to disagree over the merits of "metagrobolise"! (It brings to my mind a person using "osculate" when they could say "kiss". It also reminds me, oddly, of the made-up sci-fi words they use in Star Trek: "Captain, the alien lifeform is metagrobolising!" "No problem, just rebigulate our ion disruptolator!" And so forth...) And thanks for a most enjoyable discussion...

  14. Ah, D.E.,
    after reading your first seven words I realized that 'our love for language' could be understood as if all those not willing to join our 'quest' are no lovers of language.
    Sorry, and thanks for your patience with this 'maltreator' of (the English) language.
    Yes, like you I did enjoy this discussion very much. Thanks a lot for being our doubtful advocatus diaboli, have a pleasant and relaxing weekend with lots of sleep, and may not the tiniest pollen annoy your olfactory sense. :)