Antidisestablishmentarianism. I remember first learning this word in the fifth or sixth grade and feeling oh so erudite for knowing what was reputed to be the longest word in the English language. I am just a little embarrassed to admit that until I just now looked it up in wikipedia I wasn’t actually aware that the word refers to sect in the Anglican church which was opposed to proposals to remove the Anglican church as the official state church of England, Ireland and Wales. Somehow that escaped my notice back there in the years just before junior high school.
I did take enough philosophy courses in college to have some basic understanding of existentialism. However I’m quite certain that any claims I may have made back then to being an existentialist in my own personal philosophy were but puerile boasting. I think that I am perhaps just educated enough to realize that I do not have a fully thought out and formed philosophy of human existence. And to know that that is actually okay.
My views on psychiatry have certainly changed a great deal over the years. I have known that there was something wrong with me since at least the age of eight, when I was sent to see my very first psychiatrist. In those days, the psychiatric profession did not believe that children could be what was then thought of as “manic-depressive”. At that time, most psychiatrists never presecribed drugs and what shrinks did was mostly “talk therapy”, often in a very Freudian and stylized manner. These days most folks with a mental illness see a shrink for diagnosis and medication management. If talk therapy is needed, patients are usually referred to a social worker or psychologist. I can hardly blame the many shrinks I saw over the earlier years of my life for not diagnosing and treating a problem the profession did not believe I could have. Most days I feel genuinely blessed to live in this era where there is much greater understanding of the bio-chemical process of bi-polar disorder and drugs that really do help.
My sincerest thanks to my friend Bill at Bewitched In Salem for suggesting these three very provocative words. The image at the top of this post is a drawing of xebec, which was a Mediterranean sailing ship that was used mostly for trading. It would have a long overhanging bowsprit and protruding mizzen mast. I find myself wanting to ask Bill how this rather obscure ship played prominently as a clue in an old game he was on. I hope that you have enjoyed this installment in my daily riff on a few words. If you have a trio of words you’d like me to feature, just leave a comment.
The information about and drawing of a xebec is from wikipedia.