wisdom (n)

From Old English, originally: wise + doom.
To be wise about one’s doom is to have wisdom.

Wise –>

witen (Old English) “to know”
witan (Gothic) “to know”
videre (Latin) “to see”
vidati (Sanskrit) “to know”

To know one’s doom.

Doom –>

dom (Old English) “judgment, law”
doms (Gothic)
dhaman (Sanskrit)
themis (Greek) –> related “to think, to form an opinion, to believe.”

To know one’s end, or one’s judgment is to have wisdom. Taken from an eschatological perspective, wisdom is knowing that Christ’s judgment is coming, memento mori, ephermality of the physical world, etc. Taken from a modern environmental perspective, wisdom is something like foresight, understanding global warming, knowing our collective fate and thus being prepared for it, whether body or soul.

Prophets have wisdom.

Inspector Finch has it, briefly.

Future Monuments are about projecting wise-doom.


if-only (n)

pl. if-onlys: a pining wish to have done something differently than one did. The conditional function thingified. Very often connected to the idea of time-travel, or wanting to curl up into a ball. A common symptom of someone suffering nostalgia (or mellalgia), or FOMO.

Seen most recently in Bud Foot’s book on the Connecticut Yankee:

“And yet, it seems to us, they [pre-Industrialists] must have thought of it; surely, like us, did if-onlys…’If only I could go back and change it.’ But nobody seems to have thought that way, at least from the evidence of the literature.”

First I saw it was in Lewis Sachar’s Holes (1998) where the protagonist spends an awful lot of time wishing things were different:

If only, if only,” the woodpecker sighs,
“The bark on the tree was as soft as the skies.”
While the wolf waits below, hungry and lonely,
Crying to the moo-oo-oon,
If only, If only.”