September 27th, 2006

baby

Wordsmiths

I learned by chance the origin of the word "snapshot"  -- it means a quick shot with a gun taken suddenly and without aiming.  Transferred then to cameras.  When did we begin to "shoot" film?  Does it derive from snapshots, or was taking pictures called "shooting" before the conflation of snapshot (gun) with snapshot (camera)? 

Nabokov somewhere asks us to choose which of three person is most likely to become a writer of significance:

one who has profoundly considered the great questions, who has taken pains to formulate complex and adequate answers to the pressing problems facing humanity;

one who is intensely sensitive to the world, the feelings evoked in the soul by time, nature, love, beauty, connections of every kind; 

one who enjoys leafing through the dictionary. 

Well you can guess who gets Nabokov's vote, and mine -- and this was to be the capper to the former discussion of Fictive Internal Movies versus Jackdaw Packs of Words as the font of fiction.