Wight Writing

I was telling a lady at my church that I receive an online Word of the Day from Dictionary.com.  I explained that I have a draft email to put any words into that I encounter and may be able to appropriate for one of my books.  I also admitted that I had to be careful not to get too “smarty pants” with the process.
 
A retired English professor, she asked, “So you’re not exactly Hemingway, are you?”
 
“Definitely not.  And I plan on keeping my brains inside my head.”
 
*  *  *
 
A recent Word of the Day was “wight,” defined variously as “active,” “nimble,” or “brave” (especially in battle).
 
Again having to be careful with my wordsmithiness, I figured I could make the pun, “That was mighty wight of him” in my first book.  I wanted to look up the expression “Mighty white of you” just to make sure it was not specific to areas where I’ve lived. 
 
I found out that its usage in the black community was originally different from whites’ usage.  With the former, it facetiously referred to an action thought generous by the acting agent, but in reality was a hollow or shallow gesture.  As originally said by whites in a colonial context, it referred to a genuinely noble action that reflected whites’ superiority to other races.  In terms of social science and linguistics, I thought this difference was interesting.
 
I’m not as candid with my humor, e. g., “sick,” in my writing as I am with close friends, but I certainly won’t shy away from pushing the envelope toward bad taste.  Even when I taught, I never modified what I said in the name of Political Correctness.
 
For the most part, I’m pretty wight.

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