Word Nerd Wednesday: The Art of the Fix

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! This month’s word story is about a lovely person named Sylvia.

Sylvia, Siv to her friends, is an easy-going woman, friendly and enjoyable to be around. She’s at a party with her friends when she sees a lady whose dress tag is flipped out, sticking out along the back of her neckline. Casually strolling over to her, Siv introduces herself and offers the lady a hug. She quietly tells her the tag is sticking out and tucks it back in for her before releasing the other woman from the hug.

Two of Siv’s friends watch the exchange, smiling at her considerate, discreet style. “So un-obvious,” says one of them. “So true to Siv.”

“Un-obvious, true to Siv” = unobtrusive (un-ub-TRU-siv), meaning inconspicuous or discreet. By quietly and covertly fixing the problem, Siv behaves unobtrusively, sparing the other woman embarrassment.

It’s a wonderful thing when one person helps another without calling attention to the problem. It’s especially beautiful to see two women helping each other in a world that loves pitting one woman against another and obsessing over any fashion misstep.

Siv doesn’t have to help the other woman in our story. After all, she doesn’t even know her. But when she sees another woman in need of help, she acts—artfully, discreetly, in a way that uplifts the other woman instead of pushing her down.

She’s a rare jewel, that Siv, and even though she’s fictional, she inspires me—to be bolder, to step up when I see a need, and most of all, to be ready to act as the discreet, problem-solving friend every person needs at some point in their lives.

Word Nerd Wednesday: The Things She Sees

Happy Word Nerd Wednesday! This month’s story is about a fabulous woman named Maya.

Maya is a particularly skilled person. She has excellent attention to detail, often noticing tiny details other people overlook. Her work is always pristine, rarely an error anywhere, and she expresses her thoughts with meticulous precision. Her mastery of detail is so strong, a friend of hers once joked that Maya would notice an ant in a trench from fifty yards away.

“Trench ant” = trenchant (TREN-chunt), meaning perceptive or astute. It can also mean effective or articulate, and sometimes even forceful. It’s a multi-purpose word, really. It originates from a French word that means cutting. Maya, with her extraordinary attention to detail and precision, certainly fits one definition of trenchant. She’s perceptive, astute, and incisive. She isn’t easily distracted, cutting right down to the details that need attention.

It’s so easy sometimes to be distracted by the mess, to drown in the noise. And there’s always plenty of noise. The detail-oriented focus Maya has is far too rare, but it’s something to be admired when you see it. People like Maya contribute to this world in a whole host of ways, able to cut through all the chaos to the heart of the matter. It can be unnerving at times to be around someone with such perception, but it’s also an incredible gift.

If you have a Maya in your life, treasure them. Appreciate their unique abilities and the way they see the details of the world, right down to an ant in a trench.