Happy Friday, Everyone!
Or, if you prefer, happy day-after-Halloween!
Or how about Happy First Day of November?
Or, perhaps, happy first day of NaNoWriMo.
Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I shan’t be participating in it
This is mostly because I was looking for an excuse to use shan’t in a sentence, and that seemed like as good a place as any to use it.
Shan’t is a great word. It’s the kind of word that makes people look at you askance (much like the word askance itself does).
If you say to someone at work, “I shan’t be attending your 3-hour long meeting on Overhead Projector Safety Procedures this afternoon,” it makes them do a double take. They think, for perhaps a 20th of a second, that you are an English aristocrat and that you cannot possibly deign to attend their ridiculous meeting because you will be christening a ship later on.
But later, when they are laying in a hospital bed recovering from a nasty accident involving an overhead projector, they will think, “Hey, wait a minute. He’s not an aristocrat!”
Shan’t gives people pause, because it has just the faintest overtones of spitefulness in it.
Saying, “I’m not sure I can attend” or “I won’t be able to attend” or “I can’t attend” makes it sound as if you’d like to attend, but circumstances may arise that will prevent it.
But saying, “I shan’t attend” is like saying “I’d rather be beaten to death by a rubber chicken than attend your asinine and pointless charade of a meeting. I hope you contract gout soon. Now I must take my leave, for I have a ship christening to get to.” [Exit stage left, adjusting monocle.]
But anyway, to those of you participating in NaNoWriMo, I wish you godspeed and the best of luck.
I shan’t be participating because I have a PowerPoint presentation to prepare on Overhead Projector Safety.