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Special Place or Special Spot?
08-12-2015, 01:08 PM,
Special Place or Special Spot?
Forrest has mentioned that the treasure is hidden in a special place/spot. I have not paid much attention to which term he uses, but thinking about it, they do have slightly different connotations.

To me place tends to refer to a little more general area, and spot tends to be a smaller, more specific location. I know all of us tend to use language a little differently, so do you agree with that view?

Which does Forrest tend to use?

Here is an example of how this distinction could be important. Hebgen Lake in Montana could be considered a special PLACE to Forrest. Now imagine you came up with a solution in the woods, say a nondescript, but specific (maybe GPS coordinates) SPOT 1/3 mile from the lake. The exact spot itself is tough to believe to be special, having no wonderful vistas, etc. However, its nondescript nature helps makes it a good place to hide the treasure.

So if Forrest were to refer to the treasure location as a spot, this spot in the woods doesn't really fit special and thus less likely to be the treasure's location. However, if he refers more often as that treasure's location is a place, it would seem to be referring to the general area, Hebgen Lake and thus the treasure could be as the spot in the woods.

I know this sounds a bit muddled, but hopefully it is at least a little thought provoking.
08-12-2015, 01:51 PM,
RE: Special Place or Special Spot?

In general terms, yes, the word spot might be considered to be smaller than place. Spotlet is even smaller. Earth is a place, but not what I would generally call a spot, as an example. However, one would not be incorrect to call a very special spot, an exact spot on a rock somewhere in the woods for example, a special place.

The problem with the word 'special' is that the spot/place has been said to be special by Forrest, for unknown personal reasons. It could be special because of something that happened there, something he found there, or a very special moment of sharing with a special person, or any of many other possibilities. While I believe personally that this spot is special in a marvelous natural way, a place to marvel at (or more likely to marvel from, ie a vantage point) nature, the spot could be less spectacular than we might presume but more meaningful because of who shared it with him, perhaps a person who is dead.

When I think of my most special spots, some of them are spectacular natural settings, where I might want my ashes spread by loved ones, like my favorite river in Maine, and others are notable only for the reason that they evoke special memories, but are more pedestrian and wouldn't cause a person walking by to even notice, like an old stone bridge over a tiny creek where I ate peanut butter sandwiches with a friend when I was a kid...

To use an example more closely related to what we know about Forrest, my brother and I began fly fishing when we were teenagers. Our father took us on trips, even though he did not fly fish, and one day he found a hot spot, a beautiful riffle on a particular stream in the Catskills. We fished that spot numerous times, but it was always associated with our father and the first trout he caught there, and because he unfortunately also lost his footing on the rocks and damaged his hip, which affected him for the rest of his life. It's both a beautiful place/spot, and made more so by the significance of my father's presence and the permanent marks it left.


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