Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Word Inigo Montoya Edition

In the last few weeks I've been getting bothered by a phrase I've heard over and over again.  Every time I hear it, I think "that word, I do not think it means what you think it means." And yet, every politician or celeb or plain Joe Schmoe who gets some award or is elected to some high office says

"I am deeply humbled...*"

As I learned the meaning of the word, if you were the direct object of a humbling, you would be degraded, perhaps forced under a yoke while people hurled dung at you.  If you were describing yourself as humbled in the passive voice, you might dress yourself in sackcloth and ashes and go about on your knees.  You would not have just been elected president, or have won the Vacuum Cleaner Salesperson of the Year (Southern Wyoming District) Award.  If either of those had happened, you might have chosen to describe yourself as exalted, or on cloud nine, or maybe blurted out that "You like really like me."  You might even have taken the opportunity to reflect a little on your own inadequacies.  But you would not have been humbled. 

Just sayin'. 

*Try googling "I am deeply..." and see what happens.  Also, people are always deeply humbled.


  1. Hey Dr. Appleman, it's Sam. Sorry to highjack your blog again, but I just wanted to thank you for the postcard you sent me. Medical school is going great! I hope you're liking Oregon so far :)

    1. Hi Sam,

      Glad to hear you're enjoying Med school--I wasn't sure the card would get to you, so good to hear that it did. I'd love to see any further reports you can send me--email or post.