Words

Without a doubt, words are our best tool for expression and communication.  They can also be a great deal of fun, and, can be downright confusing.

Let me try to put my thoughts into words:

Words!  What is in a word?

“My kingdom for a word!  A horse it may be but a horse is only a word that by      any other name is still a word.”

“Words declare wars, they garner peace.”

“Words can be hurtful, they can be playful.”

“Words describe words as in spiteful words, hurtful words, insightful words.”

“We can have a war of words, crosswords or:  them’s fightin words.”

“Words can be theatrical:  we can have a play on words.”

“Word is law.  It is the word.”

“Words are prophetic. Words can be the gospel truth. So sayeth the word of the Lord”

“Words inspire, they transpire”

“Words transcribe:  you have my word on that.”

“Failing that, can I have a word with you?”

“Words are not enough.” That’s why we have lawyers.

“Words can be despotic, or chaotic.”

“A single word can inspire poetry, lyricism:”

Lennon and McCartney understood words to such an extent that they had a song with two words called “The Word” to describe a single word.” An extract:

“Say the word and you’ll be free

Say the word and be like me.

Say the word I’m thinking of.

Have you heard the word is love” (Lennon and McCartney; Rubber Soul, (1965)

“Ah yes, LOVE.” The English language’s most poignant and, perhaps, most dangerous word.

When a few words are taken together, we have a phrase.  And when a couple of phrases are linked together we have, in a word, a “sentence.” And when a group of sentences are grouped together we have, in another word, a “paragraph.”  And, to describe or summarize a paragraph, we can go right back to the beginning of this word-train of thought – to “paraphrase!”

We can combine words to make quotable quotes: some profound, some sublime, some simplistic, some stupidly clear:

“To be or not to be – that is the question.”  That may be but on Jeopardy it is the answer!

“If things are good in moderation then they must be great in excess.”  My favourite.

“If something is worth doing, then it is worth overdoing.”  My other favourite.

“Baseball is 100% physical. The rest is mental.” (adapted from Berra).

“A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.  A woman does what she wants.”

“A consultant is someone who is adept at making the simple… complex.”

“The problem with theory is that it’s just not practical enough!”

“A wise fool is an oxy moron.”

“Those lefties are so darn righteous!”

“She was at a loss for words.”

or paradoxically:

“Words cannot describe what she said.” Huh?

Yet words are not enough when communicating.  Context and understanding are crucial. Without context confusion arises to the point of ridiculousness.  Let me try to illustrate:

Take the word “nit.” The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines “nit” as a stupid person, a louse.  Then add the letter “k” before the “n” and you have “knit.” Yet the word “nit” from the word “knit” is a whole different kettle of fish.  And what is that anyway: a kettle of fish?

Now, let’s take the word “wit:” defined as someone with a sharp sense of humour, a player of words perhaps.  As in “that man possesses wit.  He has a sharp mind.” But then add the letter “t” before the “w” and you have “twit.”  Or, combine the word “nit” with the word “wit” and you have a “nitwit.” But “nit” and “twit” together doesn’t sound quite right – “nit-twit?”

Nonetheless, given that a “nit” is already defined as a stupid person, and “wit” is someone who has a sharp mind, then “nitwit” defiles all logic in a descriptive sense except perhaps to define someone who possesses a stupid “wit” – which is in itself oxymoronic.  But “dimwit” already has that locked up.  Yet what is really frustrating about the undercurrent of this word is that “dimwit” is the opposite of someone who has a sharp “wit.”   So, that being the case, let’s call him or her a “blunt-sharp” person!

To make matters worse a “twit” could be someone who has a sharp “wit,” and is still a “nitwit” or a “dimwit.”  So why can’t we call him or her a nit-twit?  Or a “dim-twit”?  Confused?  I am. The bottom line is that “nitwit” or “dimwit” sounds better.  The other bottom line is that English words are just downright confusing without context and a shared understanding of the contextual environment we are communicating in.

Who ever thought that a single word, like “please”, in context, could be so humorous?  Yet Henny Youngman made a comedic career out of four simple words: “Take my wife….. please” (Youngman).  Yes, the word “timing” says it all.

Words can mean different things to many different people.  It is how we shape them, construct them, and construe them that are key to our success in using them.  Timing may be one thing but context is everything.

Finally, we do not have to worry about the size of our vocabulary in how we use words. Hemingway is said to have had a very limited working vocabulary.  Yet, like a sculptor working his clay, Hemmingway formed, molded, shaped and plied his words into words – of art!  And like any art form, it was no easy matter.  As Mark Twain once remarked: “Brevity takes longer.”

And what is my favourite word? – “Imagine.”  Not the song but the word. I hate the song.: an anarchist’s anthem.

Imagine that!   Imagine the possibilities in that word.

Take my word for it.  You’ll be surprised at how much fun words can be. You’ll be truly amazed at your wordiness.

You have my word on it.

SJ…Out

Ex Pervs

To defeat the Delta Variant and other variants that may arise, experts recommend doing all of the things that didn’t work the first time (Babylon Bee);

And…experts also warn that there are only nine years left until we have to change the timeline again to the climate change catastrophe;

Experts also warn that ridges of high pressure, now commonly known as heat domes, will occur again and again in the summer time…the horror of it all;

Experts also warn that summer will arrive 21 June every year until they say it will not;

And winter will come 21 December every year and last for…..tad da….three months;

Experts also warn that polar vortexes, or what used to be known as cold snaps, are here to stay in the winter time for many years to come…oh the horror of that all;

Expervs also state that wearing specially fitted trench coats for dirty old men is a human right;

Experts are also saying that the Covid 19 vaccine will not prevent…the flu…or the measles;

Experts also state that standing on one leg and jumping around for 15 minutes a day will prevent the spread of Covid 19;

Experts also say that playing “Imagine” everyday will prevent Covid 19  from spreading anywhere; and

Experts say that if the recommendations of Dr Fauci leave a bad taste in your mouth then take a Dr. Pepper.

 

A picture of Dr Fauci is at the beginning of this post so I thought the following picture to end it would be apropos:

See the source image

 

Whew, what would we do without experts.

 

SJ…Out

 

 

 

At Sea

Love this. An excerpt from a book I am working on:

And it was. A two day feast of delectable and juicy Mahi Mahi. I took the helm so Nigel could clean it and prepare it for dinner. Out of nowhere a host of sea birds – Frigates, Cormorants and Gannets – found themselves flying in a raptured, frantic state as Nigel threw the Mahi Mahi innards over the side and into to the wake astern. After a frenzied feeding the birds disappeared as magically as they appeared, except one. That bird claimed a spot on the starboard yardarm of the main mast. He would remain there off and on for our entire voyage. We named him (or her) “Freddy” the Frigate Bird.

We finally fell into a routine. One day, one night fell into the next, and the next, and the next. Before long we didn’t know what day it was, or night. You would think one would be bored out here. There was no visual stimulation to be had except for the unbroken horizon all around us. There was nothing to see or feel except for the fluid motion of the surface of the sea.  The night sky was dark and brooding, mysterious and frightening, especially during the moonless night. During the day there was nothing except blue skies, a blue sea, fair weather puffy, or brilliantly white, towering cumulus clouds. There was the constant spray from our bow wave and a short foaming wake that sparkled and glimmered like diamonds in the heat and intensity of the noon day sun. Nothing to see or feel, you say? You must be bored out of your mind? Oh but you would be sooo wrong about that.

Years later, in the Navy, I was surprised by the fact that many of the sailors, the lower deckers, non officers, were from the prairies. Why? The endless sea reminded them of home: the big sky, the limitless horizons, the undulating prairie grass or the soft sweep and sway of a wheat field as it comes alive in an afternoon draught of wind or a zephyr. I could relate to that.

SJ…Out

Weather vs Climate Change

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July 29, 1916 began as a hot, dry, hazy day in the northern Ontario town of Matheson. Despite the smoke in the air, residents went about their usual Saturday morning chores—the smell of burning wasn’t unusual in the tiny settler village, built along the new Temiskaming railway line. Encouraged by the government to set up homesteads, European immigrants cleared the land by burning the dense brush. With no rain for weeks, several small fires on the outskirts were already beginning to grow, but the townspeople had no reason to believe anything was out of hand.

It morphed into the largest forest fire in Canadian History: Sound familiar?;

 

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The Great Galveston hurricane, known regionally as the Great Storm of 1900, was the deadliest natural disaster in United States history and the fifth-deadliest Atlantic hurricane overall. The hurricane left between 6,000 and 12,000 fatalities in the United States; the number most cited in official reports is 8,000. Most of these deaths occurred in and near Galveston, Texas, after storm surge inundate…The city of Galveston was effectively obliterated. Six Canadian Provinces suffered severe damages.

The deadliest natural disaster in US history: Sound familiar?;

 

The great European Flood of 1953 where over 2100 people lost their lives: Sound familiar?;

 

See the source image

 

Severe drought, hottest decade on record and a dust bowl in Canada and the US that lasted over 10 years: the 1930s. Sound familiar?

See the source imageSee the source image

It is not climate change, it is weather. Stop with the BS.
SJ…Out
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