This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Thing Probably Not To Do Today: play Follow My Leader.

Words are necessary and amusing in a million ways.*

They're fallible in just about as many.

As you will have noticed, the world is full of people arguing, and mostly they're using words to do it. A lot of what they're arguing about is words, too. Yes, it's the bombs and bullets that cause the physical damage, but behind them are the words, words, words. 

Look: all language systems are ambiguous and inadequate. Just think, you can't get a gorilla down on paper, let alone a god. No one, however important, can say exactly what they mean - and even if they could then the chances are that some people are going to misunderstand them.

Which makes makes playing Follow My Leader a very very dangerous game indeed.

Thing Probably Not To Do Today: play Follow My Leader. The Old English form of this word was lǣdan, and is related to līthan to travel. 

*No, not literally a million ways: it might only be one hundred thousand three hundred and forty nine ways. Or two million and six, for all I know. 

Do feel free to start a numbered list.


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