Detail Disoriented; a tale of woe and–nope, that’s another post. Oops

I don’t lie on my resume anymore.  Not since my mid-20s.

Let me rephrase.  By lie, I mean use those ridiculously self-serving phrases career counselors encourage when you enter the workforce. Such that every twenty-something’s resume is littered with obsequious and patently false declarations that they are detail-oriented yet see the big picture, and are team players yet work well independently, are tactful yet cutting edge, etc, etc.

Oh no, not I.  I know myself now.  And I refuse to lie.  I, dear reader, do not love details at all.  Heck, I see a detail, I cross the street.  At a run.  Scattering pregnant women and strollers in my wake.

But there are some details I do live for.  For instance, do you know:

1.  The origin of the word ‘pummel.’

It’s from the olde English word, ‘pommel.’  Which referred to the hilt of a dagger.  To pommel someone was to hit them with the hilt rather than the blade.  Analogous, as someone remarked today, to pistol-whipping.

2.  The origin of the name ‘Istanbul.’

Ooh, this one is simply fab.  It goes back to days of yore, or more specifically: the lead up to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Turks had their hearts set on taking this city, the great metropolis of its time, rivaling every other bastion of history.  It had wealth, strategic location straddling two continents, and was just plain HAWT.  Ottoman spies were sent to ferret out the city’s weaknesses to plan a winning attack.  They would chat up Greek merchants on their way to trade in the city.

“Where are you going,” the spies would ask, by way of innocent greeting, I suppose.

“To the city,” the merchants would respond.

Not ‘to Constantinople.’  To the city.  Just like folks living in Northern Virginia will refer to DC as “the city” or “the district,” or like folks living in Brooklyn or Jersey will refer to Manhattan simply as “the city.”

And what is the Greek for “to the city?”  Is tan polin.


Work details just don’t cut it at that same level, do they?  Not often, anyway. 😉

(Did I just use this post as an excuse to post a Turkey photo????  Naw, I’m not that kinda gal.)

Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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3 Responses to Detail Disoriented; a tale of woe and–nope, that’s another post. Oops

  1. JLC says:

    Great pic! I have a friend who interned at a company in Turkey. Seems like an interesting place.

    • sputnitsa says:

      It really is. A mixture of cultures and sense of place. An internal battle to define the future and even the past. Exquisitely beautiful, from Istanbul’s cupolas to the wending roads through Eastern Anatolia, tiny villages spiked with minarets and the wavering song of muezzins.

      I knew I’d love Turkey; I just didn’t expect how much. Where did your friend intern?

  2. JLC says:

    Hm… I can’t remember. It was one of those things he had to do for college. I believe he was there for 6 months. It was a VERY long time ago. 🙂

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