31 January 2009


As I was struggling to find the right word or words today to talk to someone about unduly intense modesty, even self-deprecation, I thought about "self effacement," and looked up this word.

How interesting to notice that effacement may refer to the change that takes place in the uterus during labor. Whew. "Self effacement" takes on a whole new layer of meaning, doesn't it?

I avoided the use of effacement in my conversation, somewhat taken aback. And, after all, it was not the right word anyway. Disrespecting yourself is not the same as withdrawing into the background.

Though I am not a religious person, there are parts of the Bible that I really love:

8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; 9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. 10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. 11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

~Luke 14, verses 8-11. King James, of course.


Effacement Ef*face"ment, n. [Cf. F. effacement.]
The act if effacing; also, the result of the act.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

n 1: shortening of the uterine cervix and thinning of its walls
as it is dilated during labor
2: withdrawing into the background; making yourself
inconspicuous [syn: self-effacement]

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

No comments:

Post a Comment