For some reason, I got to thinking about that word just now. Haven’t the foggiest reason why. Popped right to the fore of my consciousness. Sensational. Began considering the root of the word: sense. The definition of the verb form of sense, as written in dictionary .com – there was a time when I would have referred to Webster’s or The Oxford — is as follows: “to perceive something by the senses,” the senses being touch, taste, sight, hearing, and smell. Usually, the word sensational is used in the context of having observed some spectacular act, whether it be sports, entertainment, academic, or any other area of human activity. It gets pigeonholed into only describing the extraordinary or spectacular or outstanding or awesome. True, all of these words are appropriate synonyms for the word sensational. However, aren’t they really just adjectives that reside on the more commonly accepted portion of the sensational spectrum? There are other applications along the sensational axis. These applications uncover the pleasant, as well as the more pleasing, experiences the five senses encounter.
For example, experiencing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis is sensational. The feeling you get right before sneezing is sensational. (Akin to the sensation right before or– . Well, you get my drift!) The unpleasant aftermath of someone’s number two in a public restroom is sensational, albeit vile. Rubbing one’s hands along the spine of a toad is sensational, but no one, I mean no one, would describe it as such. Observing certain individuals at your local Walmart could be construed as sensational, the cottage cheese and expansive displays of undesirable flesh generating that sensation notwithstanding. I would never describe the chicken at Church’s Chicken restaurant as sensational. Church’s many repeat customers would beg to differ. And they are right. I sadly must concur, but only in the pure sense of the word.
The purpose of this little ditty is to point out that sensational is a constant state of being. It’s all around us, every waking minute (and even every sleeping minute) of every day. Life – regardless of your station in it – is sensational.