In So Many Words

Info-Comics by Larry Paros


Parenthood can throw or knock you for a loop (c.1923), leaving you as disoriented as a flyer in a mid–air maneuver.

You are ready to throw up your hands — the traditional gesture of defeat, or throw in the sponge or the towel (c.1900) — the signal from the boxer's handler to halt the bout.

It's all with good reason. There are moments when everyone feels overwhelmed with feelings of dejection — left downcast from the Latin jacere, "to throw" and de, "down" or "away." These are times when you want to reject it all — just by adding the "re" which would allow you to "throw it all back."

But don't discard something of value along with something you don't want. You're liable to just end up throwing the baby out with the bathwater, an old German proverb first recorded in 1512 and a common catchphrase later used by such Teutonic luminaries as Martin Luther, Johannes Kepler, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Otto von Bismarck, Thomas Mann, and Gunther Grass. The concept was first adapted into English by Thomas Carlyle in an essay on slavery he wrote in 1849.

Hey, if it was good enough for them... and so you take pause, look down upon that sweet countenance which bears your name. You take a deep breath, and in that moment, realize that all you really need is a fresh injection (c.1200) of energy to "throw yourself back into" things. Jacere does that with the prefix, in, "into," if I may so interject.

Adding con, "with," makes for conjecture, allowing you to "throw these ideas together" — a project, "thrown or put forth" to help you through these difficult times. Adding ob "in the way of," takes care of any objections you might have. And you can once more take a flyer on parenting.