Thursday, July 1, 2010




1 : to turn the mind or attention

2 : to call attention in the course of speaking or writing : make reference

I sat at the table, eating an egg sandwich thinking, ADVERT(isement)...ADVERT(ising). I couldn't seem to focus on the verb. And then the D disappeared and I started thinking of aversion. I must be careful not to confuse ADVERT with AVERT: to turn away or aside. What a difference a D makes. That D ADVERTS ADVERT from its meaning.

These words both come from the Latin verb vertere: to turn, as do revert, invert, and divert. Vertigo is also derivative, describing a turning or whirling motion. Likewise, extrovert and introvert mean to turn outward or inward, respectively.

To everything, vert, vert, vert.

Vertical? More complicated. From vertex, or the highest point, also originating from vert, to turn, to whirl, to swirl, the head of a whirlpool, the top of a soft serve ice cream cone.

Last night, Dip Top ADVERTED my attention to its delectable ice cream cones, soft serve dipped in chocolate, a hard sweet shell, a flimsy white paper napkin, a photo of a funny sign, a drive to the beach, a boat gliding across the sound, a firework in the distance.

I am ADVERTED from everything tonight, on pause, trying to find where attention belongs in the first place.

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