Words of a feather flock together

I came away from seeing the movie Conviction inspired and humbled. Not only did I get an inkling of what a truly amazing brother-sister relationship might be like, I also m3_baw_1sht_V2.qxd:MECHANICALacquired the word ‘setback’ for use in my daily life. In the past I have used the word ‘disappointment’ (as in ‘life is full of little disappointments’) far too frequently. I now realise my world-weary attitude is a cop-out because I can then stop trying; contemplating a ‘disappointment’ gives me permission to be miserable.

Thanks to Conviction I realise that all the little disappointments are in fact nothing but setbacks to be overcome (a la Hilary Swank as the lawyer sibling on steroids). The French word ‘contretemps’, now also in english dictionarieshas a wonderful elegance that implies a similiar obduracy, but it’s not as durable or as down-to-earth as a setback.

Today my husband asked if anything exciting had happened in my day. I replied that a whole lot had happened but nothing that he would classify as exciting. ‘So you had a lot of niggle,’ he said. Apparently ‘a lot of niggle in the game’ in rugby parlance means there’s been some rough stuff like the odd punch thrown here and there and an altercation or two or three, but nothing major enough to change the course of the game. Don’t you just love words? Who could get depressed about a whole lot of niggle in their day? And that setback I mentioned? I’m working on a publishing contract for my second novel as we speak…


Postnote: The movie is based on real-life events. There are plenty of novels with the title ‘Conviction’ but they have nothing to do with this marvelous movie.

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