Life is weird like that. Sometimes we say something that can be misunderstood? Some things forbade understanding.
For instance, why is “abbreviated” such a long word? And why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase? If glue works so well, why doesn’t it stick to the inside of the bottle?
With Christmas in the rear-view mirror, it begs the question “What other time of the year does one sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of socks?” Just asking, that’s all.
And why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway? It’s as confusing as the term “fat chance” which has the same meaning as “slim chance.”
And what is a “whack?” How do you know if something is out of whack? Is it like the time you whacked your kid brother upside the head? Inquiring minds want to know.
Words are manipulated for a variety of reasons, but one has to question the basics. For instance, if a word in the dictionary is misspelled, how would you ever know? And if old man Webster inked the first dictionary, where did he come by all those words? Just asking.
And why do tug boats push a barge? Shouldn’t they be called push boats? With spring training baseball season just around the corner here in central Florida, a good question to ask during the seventh inning stretch is why are we singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
when we’re already there? And while you’re at it, why are “stands” made for sitting? I digress.
Doesn’t “expecting the unexpected” sort of make the unexpected expected? It might help explain why “overlook” and “oversee” mean opposite things. And how come “phonics” is not spelled the way it sounds? I suffer from dyslexia. If I cross my eyes do you think I can read alright? Makes sense to me.
If something’s “awfully good,” wouldn’t that make good awful? It’s like a “bitter sweet” moment. Which is it? Just asking.
And when is a civil war really civil? And how can you explain the term “crash landing” or “cruel kindness” of “deafening silence?” Just asking.
When one company takes over another, what do they mean by a “friendly takeover?” Isn’t that like “deceptively honest” or a “definite maybe?”
Some takeovers actually move at “deliberate speed,” which is a little confusing.
How about the man who calls himself a “devout atheist?” That’s like being “falsely true,” isn’t it? How can you contrast a “dull roar” with “eloquent silence?”
When you ask your mechanic for an “exact estimate” can you really trust the answer? How do you “even the odds” in your favor? How can you know if the parts they’re using aren’t “genuine imitations?” Just asking.
As you read these ramblings, I know you’re saying to yourself “good grief.” My point exactly! And whether it’s “freezer burn” or “icy hot” or “ill health” or “impossible solution” one has the right to ask the true meaning. Perhaps your doubts about my sanity are “growing smaller,” but I digress.
So how did they come up with the terms “jumbo shrimp” or “larger half?” It’s almost as confusing as “living dead” or “living end” or “living sacrifices.” Some of those terms would call for a “minor
miracle.” Again, I digress.
So the “old news” in the economy today was that the country enjoyed “negative growth” because of “negative income” in certain markets?
By now you are begging for the “sound of silence” from yours truly. I suspect the end of this is going to put a “sad smile” on your face.
Be happy that I didn’t go down the road of using “soft rock” or “terribly good” or “sweet sorrow” or “True Lies” as in the James Cameron’s “true fiction” movie.
Be happy that I didn’t pick on “military intelligence” or “Microsoft Works” because those are true oxymoron. Just asking…
Michael Aun is a syndicated columnist and writes a weekly column for this newspaper. To contact Michael Aun, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.