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Thursday 7 April 2022

A man and a bench and a dog: a rant.

 'Isn't it wonderful?' I said. 'We're walking along this beautiful valley on this beautiful day, and there isn't another soul in sight.'

My husband, who is exact, immediately lifted his binoculars and had a good look round.

'There's a man with a dog on a bench,' he said.

And of course there was, though that was a long way away.

But tell me: who was on the bench? The man? The dog? Or both?

As it's impossible to tell from my husband's statement, I must let you out of your suspense: the man was on the bench, and the dog was sitting on the grass at the man's feet.

But how can anyone convey that information in one simple yet elegant statement?

There's a man on a bench with a dog.

No, that doesn't work.

There's a man with a dog sitting on a bench.

Nope. If anything, that makes things worse.

There's a dog with a man sitting on a bench...

Sometimes, you know, I do wish that I could speak English.

photo by Britchi Mirela

Word To Use Today: bench. This word was benc in Old English. The word has a connection with the word bank in both its financial* and arranged-in-lines meaning.

*The first financial banks had their money was arranged on benches.

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