Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Your Intrepid Reporter

Your intrepid reporter reporting here.

I've always liked the word 'intrepid.' It's like other words, if you say it a bunch of times it sounds weird. It sounds like a biped with three feet, a triped, or tripod. Trep is like a trap or a trip but isn't a word in its own right. I would guess the 'intre' goes together, as in intro, 'into' with a definite direction. As for 'pid,' my etymological guesses at first are up against the wall, but 'pedal' and words involving the feet ('pied' or 'podiatrist') come to mind. So put those together and you have someone taking steps in a courageous way into a situation. Look it up. I might be wrong but I can't be too far off.

But what does 'intrepid' mean when we use it generally? It's a word we all know when we hear it but because we don't use it in everyday conversation, it's definition is not immediately obvious. We could think first of 'fearless,' fools rushing in where angels fear to tread.

We tend to use it in a humorous way that suggests a parody, or an ironic speaking to someone's abilities. We know there were those who were genuinely, unabashedly intrepid in history and adventures, before anti-heroes, if you will, when heroes wore white hats and were unambiguously heroic and good. As for heroes today, you never know, they might be drunks and tragic figures when they put their white hat away, and when they take off their tight suit their belly flops out, very disgusting, pure fat. So it's always 'your intrepid' this or that with a slightly arch wink and a knowing, nodding chuckle.

I didn't mean to get into all that. We might say -- and with this next bit of humor I am really going to impose on your patience -- that I did something 'intrepid' in fact, stepping into a subject and explaining it both with precision and unnecessary extravagance.

The next post will get beyond the meaning of your reporter being 'intrepid' into what your 'intrepid' reporter has to say about tonight's convention news.

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