house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Privilege is Mine

I saw the word 'privilege' spelled 'privaledge'.

Beyond the initial shock (yes I am one of those people who gasp over a misplaced apostrophe. Sorry.) I thought 'wait a minute': 'privaledge' is a spelling crime, but a semantic golden nugget.

Think about it: what is a 'privilege'? An advantage, a special right, a benefit granted to a person above the others... a PRIVATE LEDGE, right? A privaledge.

Watch it in action:

'It is a privaledge to meet you, sir.' Read: 'You are one cool / rich / famous dude and ta for letting me perch on your super private ledge.'

'all the privaledges of living in a free democratic society...' Read: compared to the rest of the world we are all perched on a very high, very private narrow ledge.

'...what a privaledge to be standing in front of such a select audience tonight...' Read: 'I'm the king of the caasstle...'

'as a rule, privaledges increase with wealth'... Need I say more? We buy our ledges, our place in the coop. Linked to other useful expressions such as 'pecking order' and 'rule the roost'.

Attention: while you enjoy your various 'privaledges', at all cost avoid confusion with 'PV ledge' and, also quite common, 'privy ledge'. These are unsecured, unsanitary, and un-green ledges, and may lead to sticky, undignified ends.


At 6 February 2011 at 13:14 , Blogger Magnus said...

I think i may have been the guilty hacker of fine words - yes. my spelling is atrocious (how do you spell that one?)
anyways, not sure i concur with you on your take of the higher ledge factor. I was talking about how much of a privilege it is to be working in flood affected communities or something like that no? Well, surely these are not high but low, they are the victims of our climate-messing, the poorest of poor (the richer lot had better houses, in posher parts etc). I've always felt this: in Liberia when we were avoiding stray bullets and living on rainwater, living together with 500 people in two apartments, for months on end. These represent moments of richness, of opportunity to bring forth our privilege of being born in one part of the world, being able to access the dosh from some Govt or other, to bring some help to make things better - or less-bad. Anyway, we saved lives, for sure. In Liberia anyway. So, how does this match with your private ledge? not sure.. but i like your thinking. can i give you some more idiosincrazies?

At 7 February 2011 at 09:49 , Anonymous Monica said...

You just did, my love, you gave me 'idiosincrazies'.
Anyway, I don't think we're in contradiction here: you - in Pakistan, Bosnia, Sudan or Liberia - are on a mighty priva-ledge, because you have the chance to enter a world most of us don't have access to (and many also have no interest in, but that's another story). You are privileged to see these places in their worst times, which are also the times of greatest intensity and comradeship. Finally, you have the highest priva-ledge of all, which is also a vast responsibility: to bring change, to build and improve lives. Amazing ledge that, and one not many have had the honour to gain access to...


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