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#1985 - 05/08/00 09:07 AM Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Wordsmith Offline


member

Registered: 03/12/00
Posts: 123
An ad in a recent issue of a trade journal touts the efficiency of the
product very forcefully. The graphic shows the classic maze scene complete
with a guinea pig and a piece of cheese in one corner. In the traditional
experiment, the little animal is supposed to find his way through the maze,
backtracking, remembering the paths already taken, and ultimately reaching
the reward. Instead, in this scene, the rodent zooms across the diagonal,
turning the parts of the maze in his way to dust, and claiming the prize
he richly deserves. I think that was a perfect illustration for the idiom
cutting the Gordian knot.

Can you think of a Gordian knot or two you could cut in your own life, at
work or at home? Give it some thought. In the meantime, look for more words
and phrases from classical mythology in AWAD this week.



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#1986 - 05/08/00 10:10 AM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Yes, indeed I can think of a Gordian knot: the knot of
human relationships. Last year, an old friend who was the most beautiful person I have ever known died of cancer in a relatively short period of time. Being with him through
these months taught me an invaluable lesson: don't hold
back the good stuff, because you might suddenly find that it is too late to make up for lost time. So I have pretty
much quit playing relationship games, and cut right to the
important parts: if I love someone, I tell them so. For
the others, I have learned that you might as well be nice--
it takes very little effort, and is MUCH more likely to
get you what you want (a good response) than being ugly is.
For the ones who do not reciprocate, then I decide whether
I want to continue in the same vein or not. People are not
required to like me back, and if I decide that it is costing me too much to continue, I can simply tell them so,
without rancor. Everything we do is about making choices.
I choose (mostly!) not to get ugly with people. Acting ugly takes a lot more effort than being nice, and I have
much better ways of spending my energy. Things like this
still feel quite risky to me, but mostly I'm finding that
I reap what I sow.


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#1987 - 05/09/00 02:16 AM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
carol Offline
stranger

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 1
A Gordian Knot (not) in relationships? I noticed that if you look in Random House Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged edition, interesting enough you will find the word in-ti-mate - defined as personal relations involving warm friendships, cozy, etc. is followed by the word
"intimate borrowing" - defined as the borrowing of linguistic forms by one language from another when both occupy a single geographical or cultural community;
(home, personal relationships, workplace, government, schools,)

which is then followed by "Intimations of Immortality" - (Ode Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood) a poem (1807) by Wordsworth;

which is followed by the word "in-time" - intimate; cozy: in-time conversation;

The word which follows "intime" is the word "intimidate" conversely meaning to make timid; inspire with fear, overawe or cow esp with a forceful personality or superior display of fluencey, fame wealth, etc.; to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear.

Can one be genuinely intimate within or form a loving, trusting, long lasting, fulfilling relationship or successfully communicate with another person, community or country when there is any form of serious, willfull intimidate(ing)? How many of us allow THIS Gordian knot to ensnare, ruin or sabatoge relation-ships. Soooo close in alpha order yet, so far apart. At times, I've done this myself. I also know that...

If one strives to eliminate the "intimidate" which breeds fear and anxiety from the intimate relationships we try to establish with others, our dates may be more loving mates...in a more loving and peaceful world.




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#1988 - 07/01/00 07:01 AM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
> don't hold back the good stuff, because you might suddenly find that it is too late to make up for lost > time
Thanks for this post Jackie. All that you've written I would like to be that way too.


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#1989 - 07/15/00 12:56 PM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
william Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 200
yes, jackie,
this is the essence of life!
and it takes huge bravery or scary experiences to get us to arrive there.
"life is short"
"the rest of your life starts now"
what other sayings express this same thought?
and why is it that we all know it, but erect barriers as though reaching the cheese, the goal, was the last thing we could bear to do?



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#1990 - 07/27/00 05:40 AM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Avy Offline
old hand

Registered: 06/23/00
Posts: 724
> why is it that we all know it, but erect barriers as though reaching the cheese,
> the goal, was the last thing we could bear to do?

Perhaps because of the fear we might find the cheese with too many holes than we had expected, also after we get the cheese - then what happens?


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#1991 - 07/27/00 07:52 AM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11609
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
>>after we get the cheese - then what happens?<<

Avy, I think you've hit it. So many people have struggled
for so long, that they forget that there is any other
way of existence. Quite often, the thought of the
unknown is simply terrifying. This was brought to life for
me when a friend who has struggled for years with anorexia
was talking with me about it, and she said, speaking of
her efforts to deal with it, "If I succeed, then
who will I be?"
Another friend recently pointed out to me something significant: that you get trained in all kinds of ways to
prepare you for work, but you get nothing to prepare you
for retirement. I think the same kind of thing applies to
what you said--most of us are taught from childhood that we
should "achieve": good grades and a good job will lead to
your being successful. But I think very few of us are
taught how to deal with that success, if we are fortunate
enough to achieve it.

P.S.--Good to have you back, Dear!





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#1992 - 01/03/02 03:37 PM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
The Old Quibbler wonders if the "Gordian Knot" qualifys as mythological, since it was allegedly cut by Alexander the Great in historical times.


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#1993 - 01/03/02 03:43 PM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13799
Cutting the Gordian knot

According to Graves, Alex's cutting of the knot solved the puzzle about like overturning a chess board and breaking the opponents king would count as winning a chess game.


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#1994 - 01/03/02 04:00 PM Re: Words from Roman and Greek Mythology
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Faldage, old buddy, my remarkable command of the obvious had got me that far.
Now please address your quasi-mythological perspicacity to the question: Is it
not mildly erroneous to call something that happened in historical time "mythological"?


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