January 17th, 2013

A word for the new year.


I’ve been reading other people’s New Year goal-setting exercises and “What’s your word?” memes with a feeling of detachment that’s unusual for me. I’m normally in the middle of all that. I love turning to the blank page of a New Year–all the possibilities just clamoring to be written down and bound. Made mine.

But this time feels different–less declarative, more interrogative. A year to be read, more than written, perhaps. The blank page already marked with invisible ink. I’m hesitant to scrawl my own agenda over it, before its message can emerge.

I’ve been trying for days to find the right word for the new year, to describe how different this one feels. This morning I went to the thesaurus and wrote down everything that came close. One word came closer than the rest:


[in-koh-it, -eyt or, esp. British, in-koh-eyt]


1. not yet completed or fully developed; rudimentary.

2. just begun; incipient.

3. not organized; lacking order: an inchoate mass of ideas on the subject.

Origin: Latin inchoātus,  variant of incohātus  past participle of incohāre  to begin, start work on


I scried it a while before that bit about the Latin root caught my eye. To begin, start work.

Begin what? Start how?

I’m listening, 2013. You tell me.



2 Responses to “Inchoate.”

  1. Jacqueline says:

    It’s a fresh new year, with all kinds of possibilities. Here’s to yours!

  2. Heather says:

    The word reminds me of chocolate and that makes me happy. 🙂

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