Life, Writing

Define Silly

I keep citing the same book over and over, but the author of The Artist’s Way assigned me so much homework and morning pages that it only makes sense it would spill over into my blog. I’m a writer, and this book inspired me to write more.

One of the assignments was to “name five silly things you would try once.”

The first thing I thought was define silly.

You were presumably raised with a certain set of values, and if your aspirations don’t conform to those norms, are they labeled as silly?

What if I act in a way that is inconsistent with how society expects me to act? Am I being silly?

When you were a kid, were you ever told “Don’t be silly!” while having fun or goofing off? For that matter, what is the definition of “goofing off?” How far does play have to go to warrant it being “goofing off?” Where do we draw the line between silly and not silly? Goofing off and simple play?

This is according to Merriam Webster

According to Urban Dictionary, the definition of silly is completely different. But that’s because it’s Urban Dictionary. Speaking of, since you’re already on Urban Dictionary, type “dirty” and your first name and see what the definition is. Example: dirty Kari.

Now that’s a lot of fun, and a little silly as well.

Side note- here is an interesting discussion about who decides what a word means.

What if my idea of silly is your idea of a career? What if your idea of silly is my idea of a career? Do you see how much of a slippery slope this can be?

I’m not giving away any secrets here.

I could only think of two “silly” things I would try once, and to be honest, I don’t think those two are all that “silly.” I don’t like the thought of making other people feel bad about things that make them happy. Because I don’t believe that being silly equates to “lacking common sense.”

Sorry, George, Charles Merriam and Noah Webster, but I’m going to have to disagree with you. Why are we allowing stodgy men from the 1800’s to tell us what words mean, anyway? I believe that we should reinvent words every century.

I choose to reinvent silly.

To me, silly signifies carefree and cheerful. Doing something out of the ordinary, perhaps a little out of character. Something we all should do on occasion. I don’t think that’s “weak in intellect.” In fact, I believe that is sound reasoning.


What are five silly things you would do once? Or twice? Or weekly?

32 thoughts on “Define Silly”

  1. Hmmmm….this is tough because I like a lot of things that many would consider geeky, like I love going to historical cities and going on ghost tours. I have no doubt people would call this silly. …maybe, karaoke that’s not in a private room, scavenger hunts, anything kitschy…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve always wanted to go on a ghost tour! They are some in Chicago, but I’ve never been. I’m going to look into them. Even though I had considered the ghost tour, I think I never pursued them because they are expensive and thought I could spend my money wisely elsewhere. There’s that antiquated definition of silly popping up in my head again. 😉

      I love all of your ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brian and I went on one of those Chicago ghost tours years ago (around 6-7) with our friends. We got a good deal through Groupon. And we had an absolute blast! Do it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think trying to define SILLY is like trying to staple jello to the wall. Impossible.
    But, following suit on your list: hypnotism & past life transgression. Those both sound fun. Or interesting. Yeah, interesting.
    How about a palm reader? I had a friend who swore by it and went all.the.time. BTW: today her life is a freaking complete train crash. Did the palm reader see that coming? I don’t think so.

    For some reason, “Trying Something Silly” reminds me of childhood games. Hopscotch. Jump rope. Hoola Hooping.
    Sign me up for all of those, but let me stretch first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Staple jello to a wall. I love that.

      I love the idea of interesting.
      I love all of those silly things.
      And yes, to the stretching.
      Dancing to music is another option. That’s something I’ve only recently started doing around my house. It’s been incredible. I’ve felt like a teenager all over again.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Silly:
    Spend a day with my siblings, we laugh and laugh over the dumbest things.
    Go to an 80’s party with a good friend so we can dance out butts off.
    Play with my 6-yr-old nephew- his rules!
    Have happy hour in my horse’s stall. Just the two of us. (No drinks for him and no dewormer for me!)
    Watch “What About Bob”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too think of being silly as something that usually ends with us in peals of laughter not necessarily something lacking common sense; just something fun and whimsical. Shouting nonsense out a window and watching people look at you like you’re crazy or sending an entire text message to someone– backward… things like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. First, I love that you went down a deep rabbit hole to think about the definition of “silly.” That’s something I would do, and half the time I’d probably never even get to the question I was supposed to answer. Also, I love the conversation here about what “silly” means. Not to get too English teachery, but it might be helpful to think about denotation vs. connotation. For some reason, “silly” has a negative connotation. I vote for changing that! There is a definite need for silliness. Silliness is often a foundation for laugher and joy, and that’s a need. Now more than ever.

    I’m not sure what silly things I would do. For me, “silly” means not serious, frivolous, fun. There’s probably an element of looking foolish in it. And not caring.

    I remember my grandma and her sister once, when they were in their 60s, reminiscing about their days on the VFW drill team. We were walking down a hill to go pick blackberries, and they began marching the way they did on the drill team, repeating the commands, and snort-laughing. I (being a teen-ager) found them both silly and embarrassing–which made them laugh and march harder. That was 40 years ago (gah!). I hope that in 10 more, I’ll be silly the way they were.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Three, no, no, no TEN cheers for being silly! I think having a manneqin with her own instagram account is silly. I think it is even more silly to delay her visit to target because she is still wearing her fourth of July dress. It is super silly to stop doing something you love! Missed you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like the playfully lighthearted and amusing definition. Being silly reminds me of laughing at NOTHING while at church and not being able to stop and getting my siblings to laugh by accident. Then being told on the way home that we were too silly. Maybe true, but it felt good.

    Hmm 5 things? I guess dressing wacky, taking some kind of dance class that is way outside my comfort zone, eating dessert first, playing a trick on Mary Ann (probably something about a package being delivered there for me and then laughing nonstop when I said just kidding), and laughing at church about nothing and getting all of my kids to join in. Obviously.

    I am still smiling at stapling jello to the wall. If a comment deserved a prize, I’d vote for that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’d like, I have some suggestions about what you should have delivered to Mary Ann. That could be a fun post idea, by the way.

      All of your ideas are perfectly, gloriously, delightfully silly. The new definition, that is. 🙂

      Like

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