word sword swords
You know what my favorite word is? Monosyllabic. Monosyllabic is by far my favorite word because it's a five-syllable word that means, literally, a one-syllable word. Seems like there would be a more efficient way to express that concept, but where's the fun in simplicity?
I wondered the other day: why do we say singer instead of sing-ger. We say finger that way. Fing-ger. Ling-ger. But not singer or ringer. I wonder why.
I used to wonder why we spell gray with an 'A' and grey with an 'E'. They seem interchangeable, and to most they are. Turns out one's a name and the other's a color.
Who made these decisions? What rhyme or reason drove him? There might be a reason for the hidden 'G' in finger. Then again, there might not.
The twists, the turns, the unknowable dead ends of the English language: I love the mystery of it, the history, the stories buried in the origins of the words we use. In the end, long after we're gone, what will they use to tell our children's children's children's grandchildren of our lives but words, words, words?
We make the inscrutable emotions real with the poetry of our language, and we do it with the passionate flair of the airy language we bend and curve, and drive and shove, contort, flex, stretch and sometimes break to our will, but still it outlives us. It waves at our graves as it favors a new generation of words.
Handle it with care. We've been building it for a long, long time.