kodawari (拘り) or (こだわり): obsession, fixation, hangup, determination, fastidiousness, pickiness about (trait, style, etc.)
Think: Ahab, White Whales, monomania, dissertations.
It’s also related to a passion for ramen (sidenote: this is where I get my ramen), which is not unrelated. Apparently ramen only became a major American culinary obsession in the mid-1990s, and took off when Momofuku opened in 2004. Before that time, Ramen was considered, well, cheap instant rations necessary to the survival of scrappy starving college students. Add a healthy dose of cultural kodawari to the ol’ Cup of Noodles and what you have is a 5000% increase on the value of a bowl of ramen over the course of two decades.
This, I think, is a metaphor for what we humanities grad students strive to achieve through our kodawari with our dissertation work: the alchemical transmutation of some boring overlooked research materials into, well, something profoundly interesting and relevant. Through our archival noodling, we quest for the golden noodle.
Another related metaphor for graduate school:
From Latin lūcubrātus, perfect passive participle of lūcubrō (“work by candlelight”), from lūx (“light”).
“To burn the midnight oil.”
“To make a deadline.”
lucubrate (third-person singular simple present lucubrates, present participle lucubrating, simple past and past participle lucubrated)
- (rare) To work diligently by artificial light; to study at night.
- 1991 December, K. Boo, “The organization woman”, in The Washington Monthly, volume 23, issue 12, page 44:
- Instead, as Oklahoma’s tenure committee lucubrated over Hill’s future, […]
- To work or write like a scholar.
- 1846, Nathaniel Chipman, in Daniel Chipman, The Life of Hon. Nathaniel Chipman, LL.D., p. 261,
- […] I shall not hesitate to repeat some of my former thoughts, when lucubrating upon the same subject.
1. A piece of work that is supplementary to or a byproduct of a larger work.
2. Something that is an accessory to a main work or subject; embellishment.
3. Work undertaken in addition to one’s principal work.”
Read as: deadly distraction. Life-threatening. MENACE.
Read also as: side-job, paramour, passion project, sidechick.
(also might get you a paying job in the real world)
Plural (Parerga) are all the exciting and fascinating things, like so many sirens, beckon you off the course of your dissertation, singing so sweetly their meretricious songs, dynamically tuned to your tastes and weaknesses, urging you to smash your dissertation-ship on their rocks.
par (variant of para- as in “parallel”; = to the side) + ergos (“work”). 1595-1605.
A notably difficult to pronounce word.
related: colloquium, workshop, symposium. This is a placeholder post, I’ll return to this later.
Ultracrepidarianism is the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.
Cf. “Marxist Glam”
Etymology (Wiki): The term ultracrepidarian was first publicly recorded in 1819 by the essayist William Hazlitt in an open letter to William Gifford, the editor of the Quarterly Review: “You have been well called an Ultra-Crepidarian critic.” It was used again four years later in 1823, in the satire by Hazlitt’s friend Leigh Hunt, Ultra-Crepidarius: a Satire on William Gifford.
(Dictionary.com) 1800-20; ultra– + Latin crepidam ‘sole of a shoe, sandal’ (< Greek krepis ‘shoe’); in allusion to the words of Pliny the Elder ne supra crepidam sutor judicare ‘let the cobbler not judge above the sandal’; cf. the English proverb “let the cobbler stick to his last.”
The word of the day for Dictionary.com, January 16, 2018.
- to withdraw one’s feelings of attachment from (a person, idea, or object), as in
anticipation of a future loss: He decathected from her in order to cope with her
Related to imposter syndrome.
Decathect is an extremely rare word in English, used only in Freudian psychology. It is
formed from the common prefix de-, signifying privation or removal, and the very rare
verb cathect “to invest emotional energy.” Cathectis a derivative of the adjective cathectic (from Greek kathektikόs “capable of holding or retaining”), from the noun káthexis
“holding, possession,retention.” The English noun cathexis is an arcane translation or
partial translation of Sigmund Freud’s Besetzung, a common, ordinary word in German meaning “(military) occupation, cast (of a play),” from the verb besetzen “to
occupy, stock, fill.” Decathect entered English in the 20th century.
“Haecceity” (/hɛkˈsiːɪti, hiːk-/; from the Latin haecceitas, which translates as “thisness”) is a term from medieval scholastic philosophy, first coined by followers of Duns Scotus to denote a concept that he seems to have originated: the discrete qualities, properties or characteristics of a thing that make it a particular thing. Haecceity is a person’s or object’s thisness, the individualising difference between the concept “a man” and the concept “Socrates” (i.e., a specific person).
Not to be confused with “quiddity,” which is a thing’s whatness.