I've always liked the word elegant. It has a touch of class about it. We use it in a number of ways, as I'm sure you're aware. We use it to mean refined, tasteful, classy, and this can be regarding appearance, behaviour or style. Elegant handwriting for example, which I don't have, or elegant dark suits, which I don't wear.
We also use it to describe a pairing of beauty and simplicity, often relating to movement or execution. A mathematical solution can be elegant, or a dancer, or the parabolic path of a teabag flung across the kitchen, landing perfectly in a mug. I'll tell you what, if teabag flinging was an Olympic sport I would hold all the records. 100m, 200m, 1600m.
But what is the opposite of elegant? A clumsy camel? A complicated rat? A working-class gorilla?
Bang and crash, clang and clatter. The man stumbled onto the train with less stability than a newborn giraffe, struggling with a heavy laptop and clutching his coat. (The man that is, a newborn giraffe is unlikely to use a laptop, or wear a coat). Wonky tie, shirt engulfed in huge sweat patches, huffing and puffing, his heavy breathing could have blown my house down. He pulled an apple out of his pocket, took a large bite and proceeded to chew with his mouth wide open, spitting, crunching and splattering, glistening pieces were splaying out like tiny shooting stars. Elegance, and its opposite, are entirely experiential.
A Little Girl Feeding Some Baby Crocodiles, 1932
4 hours ago