It’s a great word, notion. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: “an individual’s conception or impression of something known, experienced or imagined”, or, alternatively, “an inclusive general concept”, or “a theory or belief held by a person or group”, or even “a personal inclination”.
Based on those definitions, I have some notions about technical communication and e-learning, developed through my study for a Master’s degree with the University of Limerick. I’ll share these notions with you in my blog. Some you may agree with, some maybe not; but hopefully I’ll provide some food for thought.
There’s another, strictly Irish, meaning of notion – or rather, notions – that Merriam-Webster may be unaware of. It refers to a state of being where a person has a rather grand idea of themselves, or of their activities. It’s almost always used to describe someone else: “Yer man has notions”, or even, with just an eye-roll and a tilt of the head towards the person: “Notions”.
The term isn’t always used unkindly: we Irish view mild mockery and “slagging” as a sign of friendship. However, there’s a fine line between the benign and the barb, so if you’re using the term, you need to know your audience.
In Irish eyes, a new suit can be evidence of notions, as can voicing an opinion in a meeting, or admitting a fondness for fine wine. Starting a blog is a definite sign of notions. I’ll admit my guilt early, so we can get on with other things.