, , , , , ,

This is the next excerpt from Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape With Figures:

“Opening for a short story based on a personal experience: Mrs. Tinklepaugh never put on her panties in the morning without giving them a good shake to make sure no spider, mosquito, earwig, centipede, wasp or big black ant had taken up squatter’s rights. She had acquired this habit after having once been viciously bitten in the rump by a spider. That was the thing that bothered her about the old summer cottage – the prevalence of small, creepy, crawly, swooping, buzzing things which she categorized loosely as ‘bugs.’

Random ruminations: Why have we retained the word ‘ruthless’ but let ‘ruth’ and ‘ruthful’ become archaic? Does this indicate that we find it easier, more natural, to feel pitiless than to feel compassionate?

Similarly, why do we say someone has a ‘benighted’ mind but never speak of a ‘belighted’ mind?”