Real Estate

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Johnny Marr’s displeasure with a certain philosophical declaration* got me thinking about another one you hear a lot these days: “The reality is…”

This makes me either want to ask which simulacrum of life I’ve hitherto inhabited, or gratefully embrace its utterer for having dispensed the red pill.

Mostly, alas, I find it creeping into my speech.

I was confronted with reality the other day when I read a word I’d forgotten.

Upon first encountering realia, years ago in a teacher textbook, I thought: C’mon. That’s not a real word. Because, if you know anything about Education, you’ll concede it’s not always kind to the English language. The most I’d have been willing to concede is that it’s a word, but in the way “Schweppervescence” is a word.

Per usual, I was wrong again. Realia is even Latin and all.

Now I’m kind of taken with the word. It has a nice Brasilia-esque ring to it, evoking a domain of the authentic.

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*I still think it is what it is, but he’s Johnny Rootin’-Tootin’ Marr and I’ll shine his shoes whether they are or aren’t.