For maybe close to ten years I’ve thought about having a blog called Chortles & Harrumphs. Ninety percent of the reason is that I just love the way that both words sound and they happen to convey emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines them as (cue the groans from everyone listening to a borrowing high school valedictorian speech):
chortle (n,v)- to sing or chant exultantly; or, to laugh or chuckle especially when amused or pleased.
harrumph (n,v)- to clear the throat in a pompous way; or, to comment disapprovingly.
Now while it isn’t really present in the definition, and these connotations may all just be in my head, I’ve always pictured both actions as at least pseudo-involuntary responses. For example, I would define laughing so hard and spontaneously that the proverbial milk comes out of ones nose as a chortle. Or, on the flip side, if one hears something with which one vehemently disagrees, one may let out a harrumph of disagreement before strongly voicing an opinion. Both actions are colorful examples of the positive and negative gut responses we have in life. They are unfiltered outbursts of emotion.
Which brings me to this blog. The primary purpose of writing this, much like the writings of many Stoic philosophers, is for myself. I feel like bettering my communication skills, particularly in the written form, will be invaluable for wherever my career takes me in the future and continual practice is the only way to do so. I plan to use this medium to lay down my chortles, harrumphs, successes, failures, jubilations, consternations, and reflections to hone my craft of writing. And while in many respects I feel like I’m starting out with a rusty butterknife found in the watery mess hall of a sunken galleon, I hope to work my way towards a well-honed Japanese sashimi knife. (And improve my metaphors along the way.)
Bon voyage little post and bon courage for the future.