Language can be confusing

Published 12:33 pm Monday, June 20, 2022

I find the English language interesting. With words that sound the same but have different meanings leaves me wondering that anyone can learn the language at all. For example, my wife told me to not be a bore. I didn’t know if I was boring, or she was insinuating I was a pig. She’d be right in either case, but still. If you say you have a bat in your house, I don’t know if you’re playing baseball, or if I should call the Turtleman to remove an animal for you. To make things worse, the names we have for things can change based on location. For example, I was eating in a fancy restaurant recently and saw crawfish on the menu. Growing up in Kentucky, I recognized them as a crawdad. I remember as a kid, I would fish crawdads out of the creek that ran by our house. That changed when my brother chased me around the house with one, telling me they were going to attack me in my sleep. Ever since, I haven’t been much of a fan of them, and I sure am not eating them.

Each part of the country has its own words that make sense to the locals but sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to outsiders. For example, you might accuse me of “going on a wild goose chase” but I can attest that I’ve never chased a goose in my life. I have had one or two chase me, but that’s another story. I hear people say to “Let the cat out of the bag” Why is the cat in the bag to begin with? Let me put you in a bag and see how you like it. I remember when my mother would try to get me to clean my room, she would say to clean the whole, “Kit and caboodle”.

There was an older gentleman in line at the grocery yesterday who told the cashier to put his milk in a poke. She starred at him as if he were speaking a foreign language.

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Hearing this word before, I said, “I think he wants the milk in a bag.” The cashier still didn’t understand and was so dense, she probably thinks a cat scan is what you do when you’re searching for your cat.

It seems we have a new language now that is used with computers that I admit I have not learned. A friend was upset at his computer and said he thought he had a worm. I told him that a dose of castor oil takes care of that. A co-worker asked me if I received any spam. I said that I hadn’t, but if I did, I have an extra fork and we can share it. I haven’t figured out why everything suddenly has a hashtag in front of it.

Where I come from, this is a tic-tac-toe sign. Every time I see one, I want to put an X in the middle of it.

It seems my computer hates robots as well. I constantly have to prove that I am not a robot by trying to decipher some squiggly letters and numbers. I can barely see the regular letters on the screen much less a bunch of fuzzy ones. I feel sorry for the robots because they seem to have been banned from the Internet and aren’t able to watch funny cat videos like I do. Maybe they can find a hashtag and play a game of tic-tac-toe.