After a Christmas Eve service at our church, we invited people over to our cottage for food and conversation and general conviviality. My long-suffering wife, Lisa, and I were talking about something and she used the term “non sequitur,” which is Latin for “it does not follow.” An example would be this: “Life is life and fun is fun, but it’s all so quiet when the goldfish die.”
A friend, not only well-educated but smart in addition, asked simply, “What does that mean?” So we told him and he was fine going forward.
Later, we got to talking about how Bryan was confident enough to ask the question. And I felt a tad bit convicted because sometimes when someone is using a term or reference I don’t know, I’ll just nod my head and go along without having the guts to admit my ignorance.
I decided right then to suck it up and ask the question from now on. Like, what do you mean when you use that term, or reference a written work, or talk about some occurrence about which I know nothing? Instead of acting like I know what’s being said, I will just go ahead and ask the question. What a startling concept! Self-education at it’s finest!
And that’s how I learned what “defenestration” means. And it’s a word I WILL use.