or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Love To Hate You

Sometimes it is difficult to work in retail and still keep any semblance of respect for your fellow human beings. I mean, after the fact, not to their faces.* Last night after closing we were cleaning up their revolting messes--coffee cups left on shelves, packaging torn open, things shoplifted, food fragments and used tissues on the floors--and it was all too much, and I snarled to a co-worker, "I'm glad the human race is going to be extinct some day."

Overreaction, yes, but I had been having a not-so-great day, and grumbling to myself about the stupidity, and the greed, and the venality of the human animal. And then I thought of the word "cupidity", which rhymes with "stupidity" and was appropriate to my frame of mind, and then I began to wonder what the adjectival form of "cupidity" is. "Cupiditous"? "Cupidaceous"?

The word "cupidity" is not much heard any more, which is too bad. The only relative of that word group that's really in common usage is "Cupid", which is the Roman god of love, the one with the tiny angel wings and the bow-and-arrow, shooting love darts into the unanticipating. "Cupidity" is from the same source, as is another less-than-common word, "concupiscence". "Cupidity" means "greed; an unseemly lust to possess something", and "concupiscence" means "lust; sexual avidity". They're all from Latin "cupere", "to desire".

"Stupid", of course, is a relative of "stupor", which comes from Latin "stupere", "to be numb or stunned": "stupid" comes from the form "stupidus". But though "stupid" is the adjectival form of "stupidity", "cupid" and "cupidity" don't have the same relationship; we can't say that someone who displays cupidity is cupid. Unfortunately.

The adjectival form of "cupidity" is the unmelodious "cupidinous" (stress on the second syllable). I never would have guessed.

*My own personal customers, for the most part, I get along with well; I take their needs very, very seriously and I do my utmost to make sure they're happy and getting their money's worth. It's customers as an abstract whole I complain about. Individuals can be nice, but en masse they're pigs. Or vultures. Or cockroaches. You get the picture. If you've ever worked in retail, you know exactly what I'm talking about.


Blogger BrightBeak said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Friday, June 29, 2007 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger BrightBeak said...

bb's hubby says that you've been at your current retail locale for a sufficient time as to be not overly sane as it is. Customers (in the generic, en masse form) being a notable reason why sanity is not a requisite for retail employment, and lack there-of is highly recommended.
He also finds your mental leaps (such as bouncing from the customer rant to the word cupidity, and origins thereof) worrisome, and further evidence that sanity is a generous term for you ;)


the above being said very tongue-in-cheek, and awaiting the inevitable rejoinder of et tu, brightbeak? ;)

Friday, June 29, 2007 11:16:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home