Wednesday, October 28, 2015

With Little Effect: A New Verb for Your Notebook

The wind arrives in great, rainy gusts this morning. It sends the leaves up in tornados of burnt orange and golden yellow. It's so blustery, I think. I love the word blustery because it sounds a bit like a gust of wind rising up as you say it. It means, in fact, something blowing in great bursts. I wonder, therefore, if something can bluster.

I look up the verb, and it means to talk in a loud, aggressive, or indignant way with little effect. A rant. A howl. A thunder of words. As in, "She just blusters on but doesn't change anyone's mind."

For all this noise and display--nothing. With little effect. It's also arrogant, chaotic, and noisy.

I think of what it means to use words to great effect. Perhaps it's the opposite of bluster's definition. Perhaps quiet, peaceful, cheerful speech affects others more than when I bluster. I remember this in marriage and parenting.

And I remember the chaos of leaves that scatter and obscure my view as I drive on blustery days. I want my writing and speech to bring order, clarity, and change. I want the hush and harmony, not the boisterous bluster.

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