Outlier: Ghastly, jarring word…


Some words sound horrible, don’t they? ‘Outlier’ is one of them – and, in that way, it is onomatopoeic – if only in the emotional sense – because the ugliness, as perceived aurally, melds perfectly with its meaning of something or someone who (or which!) lies outside the tribe.

As a word I am not 100% sure how to pronounce, it also has that edge of jarring difficulty and ostracism from the homogeneous crowd of little boxes made of ticky-tacky which so permeates our social world.

I, as a gallimaufry kind of a gal, am a classic case of the outlier given human form. Tribes shun me, or I them! My coastline lies far off the continental beaten track. My associates tend to be other outliers!

I have always been seen as different – and that, for the most part, has meant ‘wrong’. Accused by several of being Autistic, I have ploughed my own furrow almost as long as I can remember.

In a world in which being IN is so crucial, I have always been OUT! I have never run with the In-Crowd, never been smoothly popular, never been a candidate for Prom Queen (or its equivalent).

I have always been a craggy and rough itch on the backside of humanity! An irritant! But a pearl-maker too!


Yup! Outlier – and proud!

Follow the flock?! Bugger that! I’d rather eat it!

11 thoughts on “Outlier: Ghastly, jarring word…

  1. Pingback: Outlier Than Thou? – Creativity for You

  2. I enjoyed this post. The part about pronunciation made me smile. Having done more than my share of statistical analyses over the years, outlier was always a noun, a data point distant from most others, with a long I pronunciation. In thinking about the prompt today, I toyed with outlier as an adjective. Can one person be outlier (long e pronunciation) than another?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Greenway (Town Crier and Honorary Bard of Glastonbury) .......also weekday wizard.

    Interesting. Used a lot in statistics, I notice. Apparently, and almost insultingly, outliers, as results in surveys, are deemed to be unimportant and “should be ignored” when computing averages and the like. I always have a problem with that. However, in scientific recording, they tend to be referred to as “anomalous” results. Ahhhh, the kudos in being an “anomaly” rather than being an outlier which seems like half way to oblivion! I once remember having a blazing row with a head of department who said, in marking exam papers, I had to accept “anonymous” as meaning anomalous. But that’s story for another day……


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