Thursday, March 19, 2009

Strange is Strange

Strange is a strange word. It's one of the few words I can think of that has such differing definitions. Many words can mean different things depending upon how they are pronounced. Such as the word nice. Said in a clipped fashion, it usually means "Yeah, whatever". Said in a drawn out fashion - niiice - it usually means "I'm impressed" The word strange is usually pronounced only one way, although the meaning varies.

Some Definitions of strange: unfamiliar; extraordinary; unaccustomed; singular; unique; peculiar; odd; quaint; outlandish.

Peculiar and Odd

There was a time when being called peculiar - odd strange bothered me, and I would try to change myself. I may as well have tried to not be an air breathing organism. Like breathing, my being these sorts of strange is an integral, unchangeable, part of my being that happens without conscious thought. I am what I am. Now, when someone refers to me as peculiar - odd kind of strange, I smile and say, "Right back at 'cha!" and move on.

Unfamiliar and Unaccustomed

My response to being called unfamiliar - unaccustomed strange varies, depending upon how good my day is going. When I've been called this sort of strange, it is usually accompanied by the sort of intense scrutiny that is normally reserved for viewing photos of Bigfoot. That looking at a bug through a microscope stare can chap my hide. I'll usually say something along the line of, "[whatever caused the comment] is not that unusual.", and engage, and try to enlighten, the individual. Okay, maybe a few times I've said, "Welcome to Earth."

Extraordinary, Singular, and Unique

When called this sort of strange, I just coo, and preen.

Outlandish and Quaint

I put these two together because I've been called outlandishly-quaint, and quaintly-outlandish strange for the same thing. For example, I read a lot. I've been called outlandishly-quaint strange for having more than 500 books in this age of electronic this and that. I've been called quaintly-outlandish for the majority of books being in the science fiction and fantasy genres, usually because that person doesn't like those two genres. In response, I say "Really?" in a vaguely disinterested manner, and either: a) go back to reading my book; or b) proceed to tell the person about a sci-fi/fantasy book I've recently read.

Overall, though I'm not unfamiliar nor unaccustomed to the singularly extraordinary statements I get from unique, and sometimes quaint, individuals, I find some of the outlandish ways I am perceived to be oddly peculiar.

Ain't that strange?