Showing posts with label widdershins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label widdershins. Show all posts

Friday, September 14, 2012

Adventures in Logophilia Day 3: Widdershins (Jillian)

Today, I started with one of my favorite letters of the alphabet, the mysterious and oft-forgotten W. (Every one has a favorite!  Come on!  You know you do!) I came across...

Widdershins (adverb and possibly an adjective), meaning in a left-handed, wrong or contrary direction, or counterclockwise.  According to Oxford Dictionaries, it is a Scottish word indicating the direction counter to the sun and therefore unlucky.

Widdershins puts a chill through me, like a spell as been cast.  Proof that words are made to invoke physical reactions as well as linguistic meaning.  It's opposite day. Everything that could (and possibly couldn't) goes horribly wrong.  The world has been turned topsy turvy, gone amok, changed completely in a short space of time - either for what it never was or what it always was.  Alice slips through the rabbit hole and a looking glass.  Richard Mayhew helps a dirty runaway on the street and as a result finds his life disappearing, his friends forgetting and blind to his existence.  (Neil Gaiman, in my opinion, as a master of all things widdershins.  Case in in point, the above-mentioned Neverwher, and Stardust and Coraline.)  Rose meets the Doctor, windowshop manakins begin to come to life, aliens are suddenly real, and the Doctor is living proof of things that are supposed to be impossible.  Widdershins is the new normal, the atmospheric character of the setting of a story.  Oh, it's not nonsense.  It's utter brilliance.


There are advantages to the seemingly mindless office task of alphabetizing paperwork, I've found.  Why?  It gives one good practice, a daily refamiliarization with the Order of Things.  It's amazing how often we can make mistakes about something that is otherwise incredibly basic.  How else can we sharpen our skills without a little practice?


to a blog by three people who write, for anyone else who wants to write. It's a cruel world for creators, and here we promise support, whimsy, and curiosity that will hopefully keep your pen moving and keyboard tapping!

To read more about why Daedalus Notes exists, click