The N word

From the “so to speak department” otherwise known as the “department of semiotics and semantics”…

It’s not a bad word.

Nor is it a racially charged or in any way nocive or noxious word.

It’s a nice, normal nomination that we use nomenclaturally.

It’s no nomen novum, nomen nudum, nomen dubitum, nor a nomen oblitum. No, it’s a word that most folks use nearly every day in one way or another.

It has become the subject of gnostically nuclear debate in the notoriety of Saignée’s recent series 31 Days of N… OOPS! SAWWY! I almost said it.

This morning, two of my blogging colleagues, both of whom I respect immensely, posted on its meaning and its contextualization with regard to enological epistemology here and here. In diametrically opposed stance (however unaware of each other’s posts), they contemporaneously espoused two radically different points of view. I won’t dare SAY the WORD but I do recommend both posts to you.

Last night, Tracie B made us a dinner of rotisserie chicken (from Central Market) and iron-skillet roasted potatoes and peppers that we enjoyed with one of our favorite wines of the summer of 2009, our current house white: Luneau-Papin’s 2005 Muscadet Sevre & Maine Clos des Allées, which retails for under $20 in Texas and is imported by one of the prime movers of N wines in this country, Louis-Dressner. We love this wine and I don’t know, nor will I venture to guess whether or not it is a N wine. All I know is that it is great, we can afford it, and we LOVE it. (Love is a great four-letter word, isn’t it?)

The minerality and acidity of the wine was FANTASTIC and was a great match for the spiciness of the peppers that I bought at a road-side rustic gastronomy on my way back to Austin the other day from Dallas, where stuffed armadillos guard over bottles of sorghum syrup. We love the wine so much that we cleaned out our local retailer’s stock and it has become our “go-to” white for the summer of 2009.

Yesterday, as I headed to Tracie B’s after a long day’s work, I snapped this photo of the sunset over Austin. One of the things that has impressed me the most about living in Texas is the beauty of the sky here. The sunsets and dawns are among the most stunning and truly inspirational that I’ve ever seen. When you gaze up at its beauty and its awesome expanse, you can understand why the Texans are such a G-d-fearing nation (and I mean nation in the etymological sense of the word). Like the N word, the word of G-d is not for me but for higher authorities to discuss.

Sometimes when a word is repeated over and over again, it begins to lose its meaning. Children often indulge in what scholars of linguistics call “nonsense-word repetition.” I will not dare repeat the N word but I will leave you today with the epistemological conundrum: could the bird be the word?