Friday, August 3, 2012


A word as good as one of Franny's y words (syntaxy, for instance), ettigency was minted by my friend's daughter Eleanor.

The moment I saw it (on Facebook), a chair came to mind. The postcard is from many years ago, the shop at the Neue Galerie.

Dagobert Peche (1887-1923)
Boudoir Chair for an Elegant Lady, 1912
Pencil, India ink, gouache, and gold pigment
11 3/8 x 9 in. 

See how the chair is partially made of fresh flowers? That's what it looks like to me. It's a chair that can never be an actual piece of functioning furniture. Even if there were tiny sconce vases for the flowers, that's not the point.

Ettigency  is a form of ettigent, which, according to Eleanor's father, is "a word she made up, means something like serene and buoyant. 'He's an unstoppable beagle, an ettigent soul.'"

Eleanor's mother asked her what, if anything, I needed to know about the word, and Eleanor wanted me to know that beagles are ettigent. Noted.

The word has a unique sense of proportion. It doesn't lean too heavily upon any one word that could be associated with it--neither Etta nor elegant nor agency nor majesty. It has wonderful ear sense and quite pleasing (but not cloying) eye sense.

A keeper.

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