Expert is a wonderful word to start with when trying yet again to get into the swing of blogging. It is also a very timely one, but about that later. First, etymology.

Like a perhaps surprisingly large number of words in the English language expert has come to us from Latin via French, and as such is one of the many imports which came with the Norman conquest of 1066. In Old French the word had much the same meaning as it has today  – “experienced, practised, skilled” – which shows unusually little change for a word which has been around for over 600 years. The original Latin root, however, was a little different. Expert originates from the Latin verb experiri, meaning “to try, to test”, which links well to the well-known fact that becoming an expert requires a significant amount of perseverance: trying over and over and over until one succeeds; trying out and testing different methods and techniques. It is often the case that such courses of word change have a certain logic to them which echoes the logic of common wisdom; I am of the belief that observing such changes can help reveal things about the thinking processes of different cultures, and perhaps even common thinking patterns within humanity as a whole.

As for why I found this prompt particularly relevant today relates directly to what I was doing before I decided to take a brief break: learning to touch type. Although there had been a touch typing club at my school, I never considered attending it as I did not have an inkling of how useful it could be. However, now that I will be going off to University in a month I decided that touch typing would be a useful skill as it would, for example, allow me to type notes while watching the lecturer and/or their presentation. It certainly requires a lot of attempts; hopefully a month will be enough to make me an expert typist.

 

Theta.

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