Showing posts with label journeyman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journeyman. Show all posts

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Adventures in Logophilia Day 4: Journeyman (Jillian)

The Earth is turning towards Autumn, and slowly the cooler air is forcing Summer into a corner.  It is in the 40s, and I can hear the echoing sound of the gibbons just a few blocks away, mingling with the morning sounds of the occasional dog in a yard and birds calling to each other.  I will never stop finding their call a hilarious sound to be heard in an otherwise quiet Midwestern neighborhood in the ides of September.  Monkeys.  Ha!

Anyway... today's word:

Journeyman (noun): a worker who learns a trade and works under another person; or, more specifically, reliable worker, athlete or performer (actor, musician) especially distinguished from one who is brilliant and stands out.  Oxford Dictionaries indicates this is a Middle English word indicating one is no longer an indentured worker and is paid by the day.  If you think about it, the French word for day is jour, and there was (and is) a lot French flavorings in English.

This is one of those words that sounds more exciting than it actually is.  It does indeed sound like it could mean "man who takes journeys for a living" or "wanderer" or "hitchhiker" or something poetic that vein.  But... I think this is actually pretty cool.  Why?  Words like this open the door for we crazy writers to turn them into something new.  Who says it can't be about a man who takes a journey? 

Several years ago, NBC had a brilliant concept for a television show called, you guessed it, Journeyman.  It starred Kevin McKidd as a journalist (there we go with the "jour" again) who begins to find himself backwards in time, sometimes a year, sometimes decades - suddenly without his cell phone, sometimes in his old apartment with his long-dead girlfriend.  So journeyman, an unassuming noun, now has a world of double meanings.  Oh, he's on a journey all right.  He's a time traveler! 

I have to say NBC cancelled Journeyman in its "freshman" year, but I still remember it, as time-travel is one of my favorite planes of creativity (thanks to Doctor Who).  The word journeyman has never been the same for me since.



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