I have it on good authority that I should rename my blog ‘The Reluctant Retiree’. After all, that does represent where I am in life right now, and what led me to start blogging. Besides which, some say it is a woman’s perogative to change her mind – and I relish the excuse to see if I can still spell that without assistance.
I failed. There is a pesky little ‘r’ that belongs at the beginning of the word, as in pre-rogative.
So that sent me off to my trusty Macquarie Dictionary to find out – why is this so? Digressing off topic is one of the things you can do in retirement. Suddenly there are no deadlines or people waiting for your meaningful input. You can let your mind meander in various directions, with only the latent worry that if you let it drift too far, the day may come when it forgets to find its way back home again.
On this trip, my mind starting thinking about Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. He may be credited with reforming the infant colony into something more than a penal settlement – Wikipedia describes him as an “enlightened despot” – but he did have an annoying habit of naming things after himself. When he got tired of calling things Macquarie, he moved on to Lachlan, and when he ran out of that, he resorted to his wife Elizabeth. At least, that is how it seems to me – historians may point out that places were named in his honour, and not on account of his demanding it.
Anyway, the point is, that we even have a dictionary named in his honour; and its claim to fame is that it is the standard reference on Australian English.
Not that prerogative is an Australian word, which is what led to me thinking about Lachlan Macquarie in the first place. It turns out that it is derived from the Latin: prae – before, and rogare – to ask- – – – as in ‘I get asked first’ or ‘I have the right to vote first’.
So you see what happens in retirement? Obviously I have far too much time on my hands since it has taken me six paragraphs to establish that I have the right to change my blog name if I so wish.
So The Reluctant Retiree it is!
Garrulous Gwendoline, Wollongong, May 22nd 2013