Announcing a Hiatus

According to a couple of online English dictionaries, “hiatus” comes from the Latin verb “hiare”. One of the dictionaries says “hiare” means “to yawn”. The other says it means “to gape”. Although yawning and gaping generally require an open mouth, it would be difficult to yawn (from boredom) and gape (from astonishment) at the same time.  

A yawning gap, as opposed to a yawning gape, suggests a larger opening than anyone could achieve orally, even Joe E. Brown:


Or Carly Simon:

Carly Simon

But a hiatus need not be yawning. It can be extended or brief or neither of those. One thing it can’t be, however, is permanent. A permanent hiatus isn’t really a hiatus at all, since a hiatus, like an open mouth or a yawning gap, requires boundaries. 

Announcing that one is going on hiatus, therefore, implies that one’s departure is temporary. For a blogger, a hiatus amounts to being closed-mouth for a while (despite the fact that being closed-mouth, even for a brief time, is the opposite of yawning or gaping). There is an implied promise or prediction that you are going to open your mouth again. If you don’t resume blogging one day, you haven’t been on hiatus. You’ve just stopped.

Ok, I’ll stop now.

8 thoughts on “Announcing a Hiatus

    • Thanks. I get in these moods occasionally and conclude that if I’m not writing much on the blog, I might as well make it official. And then the mood passes.

      • I know exactly what you mean. I occasionally think about the same thing. But it always seem that, just as I’m on the verge of composing an announcement, something comes up that I want to opine about.

        I’ve noticed that blogging (and commenting) has slowed dramatically since the onset of summer.

          • Thanks, but most of my stuff is just sharing interesting things from around the web with some commentary. (It’s really just the comments I used to leave at other sites but now centralized on the blog.) I’ve been trying for about two substantive posts a week, but lately it feels like I’ve been lucky if I grind one out.

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