If a word pops into my head I want to identify that word. Infernal, ethereal were two words that popped in, and I mused on one day this week. I wanted to know more.
I was thinking that they are deceptive words in that infernal can be easily confused with meaning eternal and ethereal can be pronounced wrongly and say something else entirely.
They are interesting words. Infernal reminds me of inferno or fire relating to hell. Ethereal can be pronounced two ways but only one way sounds the right way. Was I right, I ask myself?
I looked it up, of course, hoping I get it right. I’ve used a Collins dictionary before, and an Oxford one, but I prefer the Collins, because the university recommended the other one but I am more at home with Collins.
Dictionaries can be much of a much of muchness to me, but I am aware of being short changed by some dictionaries as they might not deliver on the detail. Collins is a leader within the mainstream of reference books and to me is trustworthy and reliable.
I saw that Infernal is an adjective and can be used of things that describe hell like nether. Infernal is also used as something annoying or unpleasant which would seem to derive from the word hell, of being in hell.
I pronounced ethereal the right way after many past wrong attempts (trying saying it as a newbie) and it means the same thing I always associated with the word. Collins says: Unrelated to practical things and the real world. It also means someone or something that has a delicate beauty.
They are similar words in that they deal with the unseen, but in one sense ethereal brings a more positive meaning when the word is describing beauty. Putting this meaning side by side with infernal as in hell we have two very different meanings. I never believe that hell is beautiful. If I did, I would be delusional. But here we have beauty like heaven and something as bad as hell.
Heaven and hell makes for an interesting and disturbing juxtaposition, which brings up the prospect of going to one or the other place, but not knowing why. What have I indeed done to deserve hell after all these years? What would I need to do better to gain heaven?
Again, this from two words that pop into your head, perhaps caused by travelling south for one’s own purpose, rather selfishly deserving of hell, when the money could be spent on the poor. A waste of time. A waste. Leaving my soul worse off. But, somehow, I don’t believe that it is as bad as all that, as something settles my soul and my mind at ease.
It could mean something.
Words can have powerful connotations and signify deeper understandings and even realities.