Thursday, September 1, 2011

Daily Vocabulary

orthodox: conforming to what is accepted, esp. in religion; also, and unfortunately, unoriginal. I feel bad that the notion of being in the mainstream must also be considered unoriginal. And yet there's no real way around it. If one is a perfectly orthodox writer, one may sell millions of books, and be terribly popular. At the same time, such a person isn't likely to be noted as wild and creative. They are more likely to be thought of as workmanlike, competent, methodical. Not the worst words to use, I suppose, but compare them to these: groundbreaking, creative, original. I think I'd like the second. But I fear I'd be best described with the first. That's fine, of course. I can't hate the idea of being competent rather than wildly, erratically brilliant, which is what unorthodox suggests. I just wish the orthodoxy of writing included the idea of being incredibly strange a little more than it does.

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