Occasionally I’ve done things which could be seen as cool. And other times I do things which are nerdy. I care less about that now though, than I used to in my mid-20s (but maybe more than I will in my mid-40s).
Those tags of being “cool” or a “nerd” aren’t important to me anymore, because everyone is a combination of both – the proportions of each just change, person to person. But if I had to make the call, I know which side I lean more towards, if not all the way.
I’ve bought nine books in the last five months and I think all of them were written about cool stuff, or written by cool people. For example, The Rise of Superman, which is about Flow and extreme performance, Remote, written by a guy who couldn’t drive at 25 but won the LeMans 24-hour race at 34, and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, about exactly that. But I haven’t been as excited about the arrival of any of them as much as the one that just came today:
It’s all thanks to William Zinsser, who in On Writing Well, swore by this thesaurus. Good writers can make dry and sometimes boring subjects interesting or sometimes captivating, and Zinsser’s book is the finest and most entertaining writing about writing I’ve ever read. And he used this book to help him, throughout his life as a writer.
And damn, thesauruses got cool (yep, I just said that). They’ve changed from how I remember them in high school, back when we were forced to have one. Roget’s doesn’t just go from page 1-1000 or whatever, it’s divided into the following chapters: ‘Abstract Relations’; ‘Space; ‘Matter’; ‘Intellect of the Mind’, ‘Volition: Exercise of the Will’, and ‘Emotion, Religion and Morality’.
Oh man. So many words. So many alternatives to those words. So many more alternatives to those words and even more alternatives to those ones. I’m excited, and at the same time, I’m also: flurried, all of a flutter, all of a doodah, restless, restive, overexcited, overwrought, distrait, freaked out, on a high, on a trip, on an ego-trip, beside oneself, hysterical, out of control, uncontrollable, running amok, carried away, turned on, hyped up, possessed, impassioned and enthusiastic.