Brainfood: Wordsworth - Natural

Are you a natural leader? Do you sell natural products? Are you squandering natural resources? Are you irritated by these questions? If you are, it's only natural. 'Natural' derives from a Latin verb meaning 'to be born'. Anything born is natural, but anything made is less so. But where do you draw the line? The 'natural beauty' of our country is the result of agricultural labour. The 'natural look' favoured by the female of the species is bought at the cosmetics counter. As for 'natural yoghurt', it's a factory-made, scientifically tested milk product encased in polypropylene to deter 'natural' entities from shortening the 'natural term' of yoghurt lovers. Science and technology are products of man's capacity for rational thought, which is at least as natural as anything you'll find in the rainforest or at the Body Shop. But people like to believe that what they buy in an air- conditioned mall or at their desktop super-computer is pure and unadulterated. Self-deception, too, is only natural.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

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