On this New Year’s day, I wish you sprezzatura for 2022.

…other languages dish out positivity a little better than us. They have a splash of what the Italians call sprezzatura, a careless, thrown together nonchalance or indifference to life’s curveballs.

Not quite ready for that? Then you could aim for respair.

But one English word surely stands above all others from the corners of the dictionary. I mention it all the time, because I’m determined to bring it back. Or bring it anywhere in fact, for it never really enjoyed more than a day in the sun. “Respair” has just one record next to it in the Oxford English Dictionary, from 1525, but its definition is sublime. Respair is fresh hope; a recovery from despair. May 2022 finally be its moment.

Indeed. May 2022 be the moment for many good things.

PS   Thanks to Reader John for this link to a delightful Guardian article on reclaiming long-lost positive words.

PPS  Me, I’m going to continue my one-woman campaign to restore “take” to its former place in the sun.


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14 Responses to Sprezzatura

  1. Ralph Gibson says:

    Indeed !

  2. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – I just had “cacklefarts” for breakfast, but I passed on the “bags of mystery” and had bacon instead.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    I didn’t know the word sprezzatura before….but it works. Right now, I’m glad to be indifferent to a few things.

  4. I will join you in reintroducing “respair”. Sprezzatura is a lovely name, but lends itself to misspelling. As for “take”, soldier on!

    Having reached a later decade in my life, I have begun to use all the big words and obscure words in their deserved places, lest I never get to use them again.

    Happy 2022!

  5. “Sprezzatura” sounds like the emanation from a popped bottle of champagne. I welcome your wish for 2022 as a quality I could use in abundance. I also enjoyed your take on “bring” and “take,” which encourages me to bring note of usage into the to and fro of my serving with the intent of much (confusion and) merriment. Happy New Year!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I could do with some, also. It’s so easy to get wound up. I bring note of your bringing and wish you a full measure of merriment. The confusion, I believe, goes without saying.

  6. barbara carlson says:

    It’s a two-woman campaign to bring back “take”!!

    I correct the TV actors when I hear it, along with “fewer” for “less”.

    As for him or her where he or she should be, DON’T GET ME STARTED!
    (But as my proofreader, you know I’m wayward in other areas. We all have a past….)

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