Ennui *sigh*


Not Victorian-era, but she’s obviously still suffering greatly, poor dear.

I’ve been struggling the last few days to be inspired. Yes, I know, this is something that writers often feel the need to whinge about, thus boring the hell out of their audience as well. Readers don’t want to hear about this – no, they want Action! Colour! Imagery! and a healthy dose of Sex, too, please.

Sorry, none of that exciting stuff today. It’s too hot and our house has now warmed up a little too much. That could be because of our poor dogs panting away, stretched out on the wooden floor, or the equally over-heated technology humming away in an attempt to keep me entertained.

My other excuse is that I’ve had some mild, unknown virus-like thing that’s kept me under its evil thumb all week. So I’ve been lying around on the sofa after work, feeling all weak and fanning myself, like a Victorian-era lady who feels faint, perhaps due to the ironwork wrapped around her tiny little waist. Ah, those were the days!

So, this brings me to the word ‘ennui’, which seems to go hand-in-hand with sighing on the couch. Oddly, given that it means ‘boredom’, it’s starting to entertain me. It’s one of many words that I have read numerous times in my life, but have somehow managed to have never heard it spoken aloud.

Which means, like so many other words, I’ve probably been pronouncing it incorrectly in my head. Quick, Batman, to the Google machine!

Ah, yes, Google gives me (in 0.22 seconds) a YouTube video of how to pronouce ‘ennui‘. And no, it’s not en-u-ee as I had been thinking in my under-educated head. It’s along the lines of ‘en-wa’, in that beautifully soft French way.

Which reminds me of being aged about 14 or 15 and telling my mum about the lingery I’d seen in an underwear catalogue, feeling rather adult. She may have done a double-take, then started laughing. ‘Lon-jeray’, I think you’re talking about ‘lon-jeray’ (lingerie, of course, but you knew that, right?).


Really? You couldn’t pronounce my name? There must be something Freudian about that slip!

And the time I incorrectly pronounced – gulp, I’m not telling you how old I was – Sigmund Freud’s surname. In front of two rather cultured people. Well, at least I didn’t call him a fraud.

So, purely to keep me entertained, what is a word that’s let you down as soon as it’s left your mouth? 

I personally blame it on the French, as it’s usually their words I fall over.*

*Just don’t mention English and its thousands of little traps, waiting to trip up the unwary speaker  eg: Though, through, throw. Height, freight, fright.  Wound (noun), wound (verb). Yikes!

About carolynswriting

Author, Menagerie Manager, 9-5er. Love my writing, my family and other animals, my friends, and even my job :)
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4 Responses to Ennui *sigh*

  1. Hahaha, love this post! The Freud part left me with a huge smile. 😊 I live in the UK, and during Maths class everyone used to think I was weird because I always insisted on saying “sigh-multaneous equations” in the American way. I know it’s not really a case of “wrong” or “right”, but I just think it sounds so much better! 😊


    • Lol, thanks Yusra! It’s a minefield out there, with all the different forms of English! In Australia we argue over things like ‘castle’ & ‘car-sle’; & should words be pronounced the British or American way. Our newspapers are full of angry pedants worrying about how newsreaders pronounce words like ‘kilometre’ (emphasis on the kil or the lom). It’s crazy 😃


  2. Hi Carolyn, Have you read Kathleen Norris’ “Acedia and Me?” She writes about the writer’s monastic isolation in this book. It really helped me make sense of my ennui. I wrote about it on my blog. https://poonamallee.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/acedia-and-me-thank-you-ms-norris/


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