Meaning and the Value of a Noun

via Daily Prompt: Meaningless

Between the exuberance of seeking meaning in all things and the despair of finding it in none, I try to find the meaning of meaningless. It’s hard to think about on its own. As an adjective, it wants something. I need a noun to tie it down.

Meaningless existence is too grim to contemplate and meaningless job is close behind. So I use my random noun generator (seriously) to find a fit. Several nouns pop up but don’t really move me. Habit is the first one to catch my attention. We all have meaningless habits, so ingrained we are unaware, else we’d change them. Next is umbrella. Meaningless umbrella makes me laugh. Images of water dripping from me, forming puddles on my covered porch, totally drenched after the downpour, then going inside to the rack where I conveniently left my umbrella earlier today. Then meaningless twin, wondering if I had a twin, which of us would be the meaningless one.

I find the meaning of meaningless in how it binds with different nouns. Some others I found intriguing I’ll leave to your own interpretation. Perhaps they contain stories as yet unwritten for someone to exploit: meaningless hat, meaningless consent, meaningless fertility, meaningless majesty, meaningless mortality, meaningless anniversary. If this post sparks imagination it will have meaning. If not…then it is a meaningless post.

Published by

Thomas Ward

Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Alabama. Research focus on creativity.

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