Friday 23 September 2011

Weekword: Witty

Junebug picked this week's word.

For some reason, the word makes me think of a dowager holding court in her salon, perhaps in 16th century Venice (my first port of call should I ever invent time travel, by the way) or in pre-revolutionary France. Lady Wittington. She's sipping something eye-wateringly potent out of a tiny crystal wine glass whilst reclining on a chaise longue, wearing some sort of richly coloured silk confection which is either cut too low or showing too much leg (she doesn't care about that sort of thing, you know - her brain supersedes convention) and surrounded by people hanging on her every word. Many of them are sitting on the floor looking up at her, waiting for her to dish out some remark about them: even a negative one is welcomed, because it means she's seen them. People repeat her witticisms to themselves so they can remember them and use them in later conversations to try and make themselves look as interesting.

She's not especially nice, though, and not patient with the dull-witted, whom she lampoons heartlessly for an evening before turning them out, bewildered and rejected. Her late husband was probably one of these poor unfortunates until that night when he tragically, accidentally fell down the stairs. Twice.

In spite of that, she can argue intelligently about events in history, speaks with authority on matters of politics and is well-informed about the cultural happenings du jour, and all these things make her attractive in a way to which people lacking the blessing of wit can only aspire. It's a wit sharpened by her age and her endless, careful observation of all the people she meets and sees around her, and as such cannot be acquired through education alone. That makes her quite unique, a status she enjoys and guards jealously, sometimes through the use of a careully-planned intrigue or two.

This was an interesting Weekword! Thanks, Junebug. I did my homework and thought about it all week on the drive home from work, and Lady Wittington has grown quite lifelike. It's a pity I'm not artistically gifted, or I might try and draw a picture of her.

I like to think of myself as witty (though not in the same way as the character I have dreamt up above....I don't have a chaise longue for a start). I can certainly make people laugh without too much effort; though my wit may be dulled by lack of sleep or too much time spent thinking about work on occasion, I can always at least manage some sarcasm, though it be deemed the lowest form of wit. Having an extremely witty husband helps. He's definitely not in for an accidental stair tumble at my hands.

1 comment:

John said...

I'm sure I have met Lady Wittington but under a different name, maybe she never died... Or does she live on in the hearts of some women......

Excellent post.