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©Words

(copyright 2007)

 

††††††††††† Words get in the way when I try to communicate, yet I canít communicate without them. The same word can be a noun or it can be verb. Hereís an example and Iíll keep it simple: The can can be anything it wants to be. (At the moment I typed this, Microsoft Word check put a red squiggly line under one of the back to back cans. Yet the sentence is grammatically correct. The can can be anything it wants to be. Itís a noun and itís a verb. And there are literally hundreds of words like that in the English language.

††††††††††† Some words can sound the same and look the same except for one letter; Personnel and personal (okay thatís two letters and they donít sound the same), but what about principal and principle or complement and compliment? Now thatís confusing.

††††††††††† The same word can be a noun or an adjective. Example: The doctor is patient with the patient. That, alone, is enough to make you want to scream, but Iíll continue. What about words like r-a-i-s-e; raise? It means to take up. But remove the ďiĒ and you have r-a-s-e; rase, which means to tear down.

††††††††††† Then you have words with one letter difference that seem to have a relationship, be it opposing or similar in meaning: Good and God, evil - devil, baby sitter Ė baby sister, letter Ė litter, public Ė pubic, mature Ė manure, election - erection. Coincidence? I donít think so.

††††††††††† Try this out. I saw the saw that you saw with. I have seen the scene you have seen. Only in America can you make such asinine statements and still be grammatically correct. There are just too many words doing too many things for too many people. Words have just gone higgledy piggledy into the hoi polloi until theyíre just a bunch of mish mash that donít do jack.

††††††††††† As you can see, I have this love-hate relationship with words. You have to have words to communicate. And there is the rub: Have and have are spelled exactly the same, yet are pronounce differently depending on how they are used in a sentence. There are too many words in the English language just like that. And you have to decide before you read it, which one is right.

††††††††††† You can lead with a lead weight.

††††††††††† If you use it whatís the use.

††††††††††† Iím too close to close the door.

††††††††††† You cannot perfect the perfect.

††††††††††† Our lives are what lives inside us.

††††††††††† He looked a little peaked when he peaked.

††††††††††† The wicked wound was wicked with gauze.

††††††††††† You can rebel against a rebel.

††††††††††† You can project your ideas into a project.

††††††††††† My eyes are tearing as my shirt is tearing.

††††††††††† Therefore, I have a tear in my eye and a tear in my shirt.

††††††††††† You can have a wound wound around your arm.

††††††††††† You can read a book youíve already read.

††††††††††† You can record a record.

††††††††††† You can resume writing your resume.

††††††††††† A minute is very minute.

††††††††††† You can present a present to a friend.

††††††††††† You can attribute that to your attributes.

††††††††††† She dropped her bow when she had to bow.

††††††††††† You can wind your watch as the wind blows.

††††††††††† He had a live show to live through.

††††††††††† You canít play the bass while youíre trying to catch a bass.

††††††††††† Let me ask you this: Are you content with the content of what Iím saying? You see, the problem with the rules concerning words is they are not

consistent. They should all be equal. Whatís good for one word, should be good for all words.

††††††††††† For instance; why donít foot and boot rhyme? Why is the plural of mouse, mice? And if thatís going to be the rule, then why isnít the plural of house, hice? Why is the plural of cactus, cacti? Whatís wrong with just putting an ďsĒ on the end of words when you want them to be plural?

If devein means to remove the vein and decolor means to remove the color and defrost means to remove the frost, which all makes perfectly good sense to me, then why doesnít deliver mean to remove the liver? Why doesnít debark mean to remove the bark? Why doesnít demean mean to remove the mean? Why doesnít decrease mean to remove the crease? Why doesnít detail mean to removeÖWell, I think you get my drift.

And Iíve got to tell you, the word awkward is a very awkward word. First of all itís Awk then itís ward, but itís pronounced word. Itís not awkward. Itís awkward as the ward in the hospital where the awk patients go.

As long as Iím there, let me get it all out in the open. If you use ďaĒ before words that start with a consonant and ďanĒ before words that start with a vowel, what do you use before words like honor? It starts with a consonant, but has a vowel sound.

And that gets me to words that have silent letters. When the silent letter is inside the word itís bad enough, but when the word begins with a silent letter, Iím sorry, thatís just stupid. Silent letters are useless and should be left out all together. Take the word now n.o.w. Put a silent ďkĒ in front of it and now, itís know. Please donít get me started on gnat, opossum, gnarled, pneumonia, psychologyÖI could go on and on. And, in fact, I will. Sorry.

††††††††††† You may be asking yourselves, ďWhy?Ē Which brings me to another thing that drives me crazy: the word why and all the other words that sound like a letter, such as pee, tea, bee, jay, in, oh, are, and you.

And then you have actual single-letter words, such as A and I.I believe those are the only true single-letter words, but I went on-line to see what I could find and came across a website that said there were over 1,000 single-letter words, although they didnít have any of them listed. Now, I know Iím not the sharpest knife under the table, but how can there be more than 26 single-letter words when there are only 26 single letters.

Do you realize the word word is a word? I donít know why, but that blows my mind and pisses me off all at the same time.

In the beginning, when words were being made up, I think people must not have been very smart. Donít you think they got the meanings of hemorrhoid and asteroid mixed up?

Do you believe a person can really be so smart theyíre stupid? Otherwise, how did we get words like fiduciary (value due to trust), perfunctory (no show of interest), pusillanimous (cowardly), impecunious (poor), and mellifluous (sweet to hear)?

††††††††††† Iíll tell you how we got words like that. Stuck-up snobs made them up so they and the future intellectual eggheads could use them to look important, smarter and just plain better, or as they would say, ďpreponderate.Ē (surpass in influence)

There is a reason why the dictionary uses simple words to define complicated words. Because they knew it would be us average people looking up the complicated words. If thereís a simple word that means the same thing as a complicated word (and there always is), why not just use the simple word? Iíll tell you why. Because the intelligentsia has to be able to pontificate to us illiterensia.

My spell-checker told me illiterensia isnít a word. Well, thatís because I just made it up. Somebody made up every word we use, including those big complicated ones. So why canít we make up words? Well, we can. The English language belongs to all of us, so whoís going to tell us what we can and canít do with it, those eggheads in their collegiate palaces? We donít have to listen to them. Theyíre not the boss of us.

Hereís how to keep the English language simple, just one word per meaning. You want a word to be plural, put an ďsĒ on the end of it. Just have nouns, verbs and adjectives. You can throw all those other parts of speech away. And the letter ďyĒ is either a vowel or itís not. You canít have it both ways. And last, but not least, words that are spelled the same will always be pronounced the same. No more lead and lead or read and read or bow and bow and especially no more wound and wound.

So with a tear in your eye and a tear in your shirt, you can tell everybody, you got to live through my live speech. Iím a rebel and Iíll rebel against those who go to sea to see what they can see when all they saw was sea. And if the butter is bitter, donít blame me.

So get out there and enjoy yourself as you sprechen sie Englisch. And remember, in my perfect world, the words rove, move and love will always rhyme.

 

 

 

 

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