A folk Tale (tygerofdanyte) wrote in aesthesia,
A folk Tale

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Truth about the Beautiful

            Beautiful. It's such an odd word.
            Esthetically (aesthetically for the American in me) it's comprised of three smooth-flowing syllables. To identify the three variables, they would be beau, ti and, ful. While beau as a singularity of a word (sorry been watching Farscape) is pronounced b  (Bartleby), is in conjunction with any other syllable is pronounced as by  (Bartleby). Ti in itself is pronounced as t (Bartleby), unlike bi/fi. And Ful is pronounced as f l(Bartleby), which is fine in itself. But when the three are combined with the smooth oriental sound of by , the soft yet jerky Romanic sound of t  followed by a smooth but quick Nordic f l, it's just odd.

            As I've shamefully illustrated in the last sentence, the word Beautiful seems to have been put together by meshing up three different words from three very different languages together. This isn't the case though. The etymology of Beautiful in itself is first seen in the mid 1500s through an obscure line in a publication (OED), and its signifier syllable's origin can be seen going back to early Latin and Greek.
            Going back to it's esthetic, Beautiful just doesn't sound good to the ear.  In the movie Donnie Darko, Drew Barrymore's character Karen Pommeroy talks about how a great linguist once stated that cellar door is the most Beautiful word combination in the English language. I still haven't figured out why. But, Tolkien said it, and he was a far better and more acclaimed linguist than me and I shan't question the master at his trade.

            In an essay commenting on his affection for the Welsh language [the affection is very clear in many aspects of his world Middle-Earth, and that god-like character Bombadil. Even more clearly through the Silmarillion and countless other works]

'Most English-speaking people...will admit that cellar door is 'Beautiful', especially if dissociated from its sense (and from its spelling). More Beautiful than, say, sky, and far more Beautiful than Beautiful. Well then, in Welsh for me cellar doors are extraordinarily frequent, and moving to the higher dimension, the words in which there is pleasure in the contemplation of the association of form and sense are abundant.'  (Wikipedia)
==end quote==

Far more Beautiful than Beautiful. He says it himself, but I take it to extremes. I don't find the word Beautiful to be at all pleasurable. And isn't that the saddest part of the word. If you take meaning from its ugliness. It's also one of the most tragic words in the English language. One of its antonyms ugly is far better pleasing than it ever could be. But, that's because of that short succinctness present within ugly. But, the word ugly in itself has that bad connotation that one looks past it's inherent shortness and dare I say it...class. Even other harsh antonyms that it possesses such as grotesque or repulsive share the same fate as ugly fares. The only two antonyms of Beautiful that I can think of that aren't good to the ear are unattractive and homely. Ironically, both words have backgrounds in words such as attractive and home, words that are directly or indirectly associated with the concept (and word) of beauty and in the end the word Beautiful.

I come near the end of my shift at work, and I’ve been typing this slowly over the hours. It's rater sad that a word that is inherent within Hume's version of Esthetics, which incidentally is also the primary esthetical philosophy, is very ugly. As I touched in the last paragraph, words connected to ugliness or the absence of beauty are apparently much more pleasing to the ear than words connected to beauty.  But, that's for another rant.


Arun K

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