Because it is nice #1

I remember a long ago teacher warning all of her pupils never to use the word NICE because it wasn’t a proper word, It wasn’t nice!

The derivation is rather strange:

Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.

However, I rather like the word, and I shall use it because I think it is NICE.

Geoff Le Pard posted a film review yesterday which mentioned that one of the main characters was an Oud player.

Now, it just so happens that I knew what an Oud was, but I wanted to know where the instrument originated from so I entered the long and dark tunnel known as Google, and then Wikipedia, and this is part of what I found:

The first known complete description of the ‛ūd and its construction is found in the epistle Risāla fī-l-Luḥūn wa-n-Nagham by 9th-century Philosopher of the Arabs Yaʻqūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kindī.[9] Kindī’s description stands thus:

“[and the] length [of the ‛ūd] will be: thirty-six joint fingers – with good thick fingers – and the total will amount to three ashbār.[Notes 1] And its width: fifteen fingers. And its depth seven and a half fingers. And the measurement of the width of the bridge with the remainder behind: six fingers. Remains the length of the strings: thirty fingers and on these strings take place the division and the partition, because it is the sounding [or “the speaking”] length. This is why the width must be [of] fifteen fingers as it is the half of this length. Similarly for the depth, seven fingers and a half and this is the half of the width and the quarter of the length [of the strings]. And the neck must be one third of the length [of the speaking strings] and it is: ten fingers. Remains the vibrating body: twenty fingers. And that the back (soundbox) be well rounded and its “thinning” (kharţ) [must be done] towards the neck, as if it had been a round body drawn with a compass which was cut in two in order to extract two ‛ūds“.[10]

I just love that language. It is so much better than modern idioms, youth speak, or Essex garbage. That, in itself, is worthy of NICE.

But (and my favourite teacher would be horrified that I started a sentence with but) I then went on to discover this absolute gem of music, and this is REALLY NICE.

So, not only do we have a nice review of a nice film from the nice Geoff Le Pard but we also have some really nice descriptive language, followed by some very nice music.

I think this deserves a new occasional series of NICE things. I hope it gifts you a smile today.

34 thoughts on “Because it is nice #1

  1. Good post. I use the word “nice” when something doesn’t mean anything to me, when I don’t have an opinion, or when I try not to hurt someone’s feeling. The worst compliment I can give in the blogging world would be “Nice post,” which will never happen on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know about nice, but it is a lovely instrument and an expertly put together, delightful piece of music! Now you’ve set me to thinking about “Nice”! I shall examine my mind any time the word comes up!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And I thought it was an ugly town in France populated by dessicated octogenarians with a penchant for naked nipplage and sunglasses that double as listening stations for the French secret services. Nicely done though…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It doesn’t really matter if your fingers are thick or thin. The proportions will produce a valid OUD, it will just be a smaller instrument, and it’s played with a large plectrum so bent joints are acceptable! The first practice session is next Tuesday so you’d better get busy!


    1. Nice!
      With language as it is today, where “sick” means excellent, “of” seems acceptable instead of “have”, and where “innit” has multiple uses I think that nice will be good from now on in my vocabulary.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Ha! I was gifted a smile AND a giggle! Thank you, Peter! 😀 Nice post about nice and nice video, too. I like the word nice. I always wonder if it is often thesaurus-ed out because people want a better word. Poor nice! 😦

    I hope you have a nice day
    A day that is nice as pie
    Wishing you sugar and spice
    And everything nice, Mr. Nice Guy! 😀

    Now I’m thinking about The Beach Boys song!

    (((HUGS))) 🙂
    PS…How do you feel about the word “cute”???

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks Carolyn. The Beach Boys Wouldn’t it be nice was an absolute favourite of mine and meant so much to me and my first ever really true love Susan Wood. She is a girl that I will love forever, and my wife knows that! A complete and sublime dream that can only exist in the mind, but will send shivers down my spine for ever.

    Cute is problematic. It was always an American favourite but in Britain, in the past, was not so innocent. It always conjured up an image of older men trying to lure young, often underage, girls into a web of intrigue.

    Now it is often used to describe kittens or puppies, or exotic pets.

    Not a word for me!


  6. Nice is one of those words that can be, well, nice and, as Bridget said, not so much. It can be such a noncommittal word.

    I like that, here in Quebec, the youngsters will say: Oh wow, c’est nice! And they mean it as a positive.

    This musical piece was more than nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Teachers continue to encourage children to think of alternatives to make a piece of writing more interesting.

    Peter Said it was Nice! it’s more about the written word than the spoken word, as with the use of the word Said!

    I use the word nice a lot – I had such a nice time today. . The doctor was very nice, what a relief.
    And here’s a nice bright 😄 to start this nice day.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s amazing ‘nice’ is still in use, because those-of-us-of-a-certain-age were more or less banned from using it. In truth, I do still try to avoid it, except when I’m getting a bit above myself and offer sentences like ‘That’s a nice distinction’ when I don’t really agree with someone’s argument.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had the EXACT same experience Peter! It actually made me very sad. Because when a teacher had an exercise where we all had to go to each student’s desk and write one word about that person, I came back to my desk to a lot of “nice” s. I didn’t think I was very good if people ‘only’ said I was nice. So I love this post and find it very nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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