Words

Hello again Gentle Reader(s?),

If you read the title of this post, you may believe that I am going to speak, or write, about words. Or, at least with words. At least.

Well, you may be surprised to discover that you believe, at least, somewhat correctly. 

Yes, I am going to use words in this particular post to describe things called “words”. Words that speak of things. Wordy things. 

Words are the things that make up a spoken language. Spoken Language is something that allows human persons to communicate clearly amongst themselves when utilizing their inherant things called “vocal cords”.

Language and vocal cords, of course, are mutually beneficial concepts which greatly enhance the intended use of each of their intended functions: Making audible sounds and making those sounds intelligible to another human within hearing range.

Think of it this way…

Without  vocal cords, spoken language would not be very useful. At all. And without spoken language, made up of  words, vocal cords wouldn’t have a lot to say. Oh, you might get an occasional “Ugh” or “Mmphf” or “Ahhhhh”, but beyond that they would spend a lot of time wondering why they were there at all. 

Let’s create, using words, an example of that of which, using words, I speak…

Let’s say that my wife, Judy (a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords.

This is where spoken language enters the picture.

She calls out to me and, using words, says something like, “Oh Bill, my love, please purchase some toilet paper while you are at the store. Not the kind you got last time because I didn’t like that, but the kind I always get when I purchase toilet paper. You know, the extra super hyper soft tripple layered kind with little pillow things woven in. Get that, please.”

Using language, made up of words, she has made her request quite clear and distinct. I would have no problem deciphering her desire for comfortable toilet paper. 

But what if there were no such thing as words? What if spoken language was limited to a few grunts and unintelligible sounds emanating from her nearly useless vocal cords?

Let’s see what would happen…

Let’s say that my wife, Grblmphf (remember, a name is a word, too), discovers that we are out of toilet paper and she knows that I am about to head out the door to visit the grocery store. In her mind, she knows that she wants to ask me to buy some toilet paper. Her thought is processed and, eventually, gets to her vocal cords. But, alas, there is no language for her to speak because there are no words available for utilization in putting her desire into, well, words.

All she can say is, “Ugh mmphf ahh enh.”

I think you can see the dilemma here. I know that she is thinking something. It has to do with me, or she wouldn’t have tried to say something to me. My mind rushes to try to figure out exactly what she is attempting to put accross to me as I walk out the door to head to the grocery store. Hmmm…

She is addressing me. Or maybe the dog. No, it has to be me because the dog is in the back yard urinating on the formerly lush lawn. 

Maybe she is trying to inform me that the dog is urinating on the lawn. No, that can’t be it because she knows that I know that the dog is urinating on the lawn.

Hmmm… I’m on my way to the grocery store, so maybe that’s what she’s trying to get across to me. She wants me to drive carefully! 

No, that can’t be it. She knows that I drive carefully all of the time.

Maybe she wants me to get something at the store. YES!!! That has to be it!

Hmmm… What could she want me to get? What are we out of? What is important enough to make her grunt at me? 

I proceed to the store and take shot in the dark. 

Thirteen hours later, I return from the grocery store, having spent $7,346.72 on one each of everything in the store. 

Except toilet paper. (I actually put some into one of the 17 shopping carts I utilized, but when I went up to pay for everything, my credit card came up 27.00 short, so I had to put the toilet paper back in order to buy everything else.) I figure I am covered…  I am not…

I try to explain myself, “Uhn gmphf ooog mlmp,” but to no avail. She isn’t having a word of it. Mostly because words do not exist. 

Can you see how important words are? Without words, we could have no spoken language. Without spoken language, we would have to rely on the few sounds our, otherwise useless, vocal cords could make. Relying on those sounds, we would have to spend much of our lives trying to read everybody else’s mind. And without the ability to read everybody else’s mind, we would all go broke at the grocery store.  

So, Gentle Reader(s?), be grateful for words. 

Until next time, using words, speak kindly to everybody with whom you come into contact. Use grunts if you have to…

BK

PS – I had Judy read this. When she was done, I asked her what she thought. Her reply?

“I have no words…”

Conversations With Judy: Episode 29: When To NOT Utilize Your Sense Of Humor

Well, hello again Gentle Reader(s?)… It’s time for another foray into the world of “How To Live A Successful Life”.  

In this episode, we (I) will be discussing the proper neglect of the use of a sense of humor. And I will be doing so through the example that I have most recently set for myself…

Permit me to provide a bit of background, here.

Judy and I are in the process of designing (Judy’s part) and building “just one more house – honest. I promise”. 

*Some of you may remember that our house burned down September 16, 2010 and that Judy designed the new one. Well, as it happened, she really loved doing that and she got the bug to do it just once more, hopefully before we die. 

She has been working on it for about three years, drawing, changing, changing, changing, changing, upgrading, changing, changing and changing on, pretty much, a weekly basis over that entire period of time. She has finally got it right. 

Over the past several months, we have submitted the plans to the contractor and the architect to have them drawn up numerous times. And, oddly enough, they have returned to us the finished plans an equal number of times for our inspection. Equally oddly enough, Judy has made a few changes and corrections. The last set of plans required  changes/corrections to about twelve items. the first two items on the list appear here:

bidet-1

**Some of you may remember that I have a way of being joyfully light-hearted in just about any situation (I make stupid, though always hilarious, comments and jokes). This situation presented, to me, anyway, a good opportunity to, once again, employ my never-miss sense of humor, particularly in light of the fact that we had met with both the contractor and architect on many occasions and they have gotten used to me. 

I thought it would be fun to throw in my own two cents on the suggested changes. 

So I did…

bidet-2

Hmmm… There were no “Haha’s” from Judy…

This was unusual.

Moving ahead twelve days…

Phone rings…

Bill: “Hello.”

Judy (in a sweet voice): “Hi, Bill.”

B (somehow recognizing the ‘falseness’ in the sweetness in her voice): “Uh… Hi Judy.”

J (same sweet voice): I just wanted to let you know, ahead of time, that I’m going to strangle you when I get home tonight.”

B: “Gulp…”

J (ssv): “Would you like to know why?”

B: “OK…”

J (in a somewhat changed tone of voice): “Because the plans for the house were sent to me and they are being submitted to the county.”

B: “Well, that’s a good thing, right?”

J: “Guess what they include…”

I’m just going to leave it right there and let you use your imagination. 

Suffice to say that the use of humor, no matter how funny, may, in rare cases, be wise to avoid. 

Seriously. 

 

Until next (I hope) ti–

 

The New Expletive

Hello, again, Gentle Reader(s?),

Yes, it’s time, once again, for you to make a decision on whether or not to continue reading a post from me. I’ll give you a minute to decide…

Still here? OK! We shall proceed.

Let’s take a moment to review this year…

Never mind – let’s not.

All in all, though, a pretty tough year for ALL of us, and it is hard to come up with something positive to say about this year.

But, as some of you may suspect, I try to be positive in any situation (we are currently engulfed by smoke and ashes, just a little less than a mile from the “evacuation warning” perimeter made possible by the Creek Fire, here in the Sierra Mountains).

In my efforts to find something positive to say about the entire year, I have come up with this…

Many of us are familiar with bad words. Some of them are really nasty. You may even remember my previous post on “Alternative Cuss Words“.  And I would venture to guess that you remember that now-famous line, uttered by Ralphie, from the movie, A Christmas Story” (One of my top two favorite films of all time)…

Well, I have, I believe, come up with a new and even BETTER “THE word. The BIG one. The QUEEN MOTHER of dirty words. The 2- – – word.”

Yes, that’s right. Those of us who abhor hearing or reading the “f- – -“, or “s- – -” or “(input your – – – -‘s here) words in everyday speech and correspondence may now have a chance to NOT hear or read those – – – -s.

Think of the possibilities:

“Ooooh twweeeennnntttyyy-nnniiiiinnnnnneteeeeeeennnnn! Only I didn’t say nineteen.”

“Well, we sure 2- – -‘d that up!”

Then, of course, there’s the famous greeting,

“Hey, m- – – – -2- – -“!

See? You can always find something positive in just about any situation. Even if nobody agrees with you…

Really, though, take care, be safe, and look for the positive – even though it’s well hidden, it’s there…

Honest…

BK

The linguist Me – 2: What If There Was No Such Thing As Language?

Hello, Again, Gentle Reader(s?),

Yes, it is, once again, time for another lesson in the magnificent world of… Language

Language is, to me, anyway, an interesting thing. Just think of all the things we could not do without  Language. (For your benefit, I have provided a partial list of those things below.)

  1. Talk
  2. Listen to somebody talking
  3. Get mad at somebody for something they said
  4. Get mad at somebody for something they didn’t say but should have said
  5. Put in your  earbuds and turn up the music when somebody obnoxious walks into the room
  6. Write a letter, a note, an email or even a text message
  7. Receive unsolicited sales calls
  8. And, possibly, the most tragic consequence of all, you would not be reading this blog po