Tuesday, July 28, 2009
I must be feeling witless today. I can't think of a clever title for this painting. Instead, my mind is wandering in the world of free association as usual, just thinking about the many meanings of the word "mean." Right away, one definition is to explain, or signify, as in what does "mean" mean? Or to have a purpose, as: I mean to get it done soon. Or, humble or shabby or stingy. Or how about malicious, as in "a mean streak." Or used negatively for praise, as in "no mean feat." Then there's its usefulness as a middle position between extremes; or a resource helpful in accomplishing something, as in "a means to an end," or "by all means." A "man of means" has better than sufficient resources. Imagine trying to teach all this to a student from another country. English is complicated. I mean it.