Before we get down to business, I would like to take this opportunity to take advantage of a “teachable moment.”
As you may know, yesterday I worked most of the day on a poem and then lost it because I did not save it before I closed it. When I realized I had closed my document without saving it, I did what any doe-eyed dreamer would do, and googled the phrase “I just closed a document in Word I didn’t save. Can I get it back?” Note how quickly desperation renders one inarticulate. Furthermore, it is rather difficult to type and think while rending one’s garments and howling like a wolf (a wolf which, apparently, has spent some time in the Navy).
However, in spite of my inartful phrasing, Google led me to Word Tips World: Forgot to save my Word Document!! Well! That sounds like the place for me, and I especially relate to the use of double exclamation points (even though I was feeling more quadruple pointy at the time – this was a Code Red, after all). I found a good bit of useful information on that page, but my heart sank when I realized that the following advice there applied to my exact situation:
1) SCENARIO: Forgot to save the document at all, even when exiting Word/closed Word without saving!
“Yes!” I cried. “That’s me! That’s exactly what I did! Oh, joy! Somebody out there gets me!” [read, read, read, scan, scan, scan, searching for answer]
To the best of my knowledge, if you press NO at this point [when prompted “Do you want to save changes to the Document?”] there is no way to retrieve the document.
“What?!?! But wait – there’s more writing after this! If I’m really hosed, why are there more paragraphs down there?” Oh, trust me. In my head, the running monologue was even more irrational.
SOLUTION: weep quietly …[then there are suggestions to try, in case I really hadn’t made that bonehead move that I knew I really had made. End of story. Full stop]
Okay, in all seriousness, I am glad I stumbled upon that site. I like how it is written with clear illustrations, instructions and humor, and it is now bookmarked as one of my favorites. Imagine my dismay, however, when I realized that, not only had I made an irreversible mistake with my document, I also had failed to apply the only known solution to my problem properly … because what I did could not be considered, in any universe, “weeping quietly.”
As you know, I reconstructed/revised the poem as best I could and ended up with what I ended up with, and I’m okay with it. Having thought about it, and applied some much-needed perspective, these glitches happen in life, and, yes, I think it did warrant weeping quietly. However, the second dose of the prescription ought to be, in many cases, laugh loudly in response to the memory of the glitch within 72 hours of enduring it; otherwise, you might find yourself kicking the cat for no good reason (no cats were harmed in the making of this post – I don’t even have a cat).
So, that’s where I am today, which leads us to today’s device. Imagine my thrill when, after having spent all day yesterday pondering the only “J” entry in my Poet’s Dictionary: A Handbook of Prosody and Poetic Devices, by William Packard (it really gets tiresome typing that every day, but I probably have some kind of “Joe Biden” luck, and the one day I would forget to credit it would be the day someone would show up with a video camera), I opened it up today to discover there is, likewise, only one entry under “K.” I thought of skipping it altogether, but some of you smarty-pants out there probably have your own copy of Packard’s book and would rat me out.
The good news is, it is a device that, for my purposes today, lends itself well to kidding around (or, should I say, “kenning” around):
Kenning: A simile device used as an adjective; hence any repeated word or phrase that accompanies or takes the place of that which is being described.
An epithet is a simple name applied to someone; a kenning is an adjectival phrase that becomes a standard feature of references to a person, place, or thing, and is thus used repeatedly. …
Throughout world literature kenning phrases are common: thus Oedipus is “club foot,” Hamlet is “melancholy Dane,” Cassius is “lean and hungry.” One can see the use of kenning phrases in the field of sports, where certain simile phrases become identified with particular athletes: Jim Thorpe, “the Fabulous Indian”; Jack Dempsey, “the Manassa Mauler”; Lou Gehrig, “the Iron Horse”; Babe Ruth, “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”; and so on.
So, today, if you are willing, I invite you to offer your own nomination to one day attain the rank of “kenning” – one you would like to see applied to yourself or someone you know. Maybe you have a new one for a public person. I can offer three of my own, but I’m not going to tell you to whom they apply, because, if they are really good, I shouldn’t have to do so.
1. Comb-over Chameleon
2. Dreadlocks of Love (hmmm – I seem to be focused on hair)
3. Bernie Made Off With a Lot of Other People’s Money … I don’t know. I don’t think I’m getting the hang of this one.
Thanks for reading! Tomorrow, we’ll try again.