SNP’s word of the day: Coda

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Coda

Meaning: The concluding passage of a piece of (classical) music; the conclusion of a book or film, often summarizing what happens to characters in the end, after the climax.

Usage: “The decade-long Potter franchise gets the finale it deserves, leaving rubble in its wake and providing fitting final bows for many of the beloved secondary characters, on its way to a brief coda that feels perfectly paced and entirely satisfying. Magical.” — from Chris Knight’s top-films-of-2011 listicle in the National Post.

You should know it because: It’s the 30th of December; it’s the last Friday of the year; it’s the long sigh before we have to do this all again. The last month-ish has felt muted and still, even for Canada; no more elections, no political heroes dying (or being made), no opinion-splitting protests. No international revolutions either; Egypt is voting, Libya’s in limbo. The Occupy camps everywhere have been shut down, have disassembled. Recently we pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol, and even the so-called lefties and environmentalists who should have been most angry seemed mostly resigned. When, two weeks ago, Kim Jong-Il died in North Korea, we were just like, really? Where did I put my gloves?

There’s not much to stir us in pop culture, either. The box office should have at least one controversial Oscar contender, but it’s all like, Sherlock Holmes and Tom Cruise and stuff. I literally don’t remember an album coming out after Drake and Kate Bush in the same week, in November. And even Lindsay Lohan is on good behaviour. As for fashion, there are no more Dior rumours or supermodel weddings.

After a tumultuous year in the news, this is quiet time. It seems inessential, as codas usually are, but that’s because we need to save headspace for summarizing, for making lists and thinking twice, for sorting through everything we did and heard and listened to and thought this year, and figuring out what to keep.

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