We lie in every word.
Did I say word? Oh dear. I meant mode.
We lie in every mode.
And not our fault!
My first utterance was a sentence...
There was I, with my parents, in a forest, beneath our planet's one satellite,
saying, Look it's a full womb.
They were good people, always uneasy. So they laughed.
How could they have known that elsewhere linguists were busy documenting the socio-
spatial forensics of the M-W swap? It wasn't until I went to university, until Edith
Hamilton's Witchology, that I understood the ancient psychological crosspinnings of
moon and womb.
My dear Fellows of Indo European Tongues,
As we start our symposia today, think for a second about our progress restoring the correct
consonant to scores of syllables wis-heard since the Tower of Babel's ceiling fans stirred M
and W into topsiturvitude... Just this morning, the headline!
THE TRUE NATURE OF EENE MEENEE MAINEE MO REVEALED
Not a child's rhyme on the frivolity of choice, no, no-but a dangerous seven syllables on
the woe borne from the liberty of hem hawing. The Times puts it thus and I quote, in wavering
we all of course hear moving.
Yes, we're still having some troubles figuring out how to tell Wuthers United-who of course
prefer the error Mothers United-and yes, pronouns and prepositions are proving
profoundly....heh. I think though, friends, that the marled is coming around!
The recent decree out of Vatican City is a sign. Blessed is the fruit of thy moon, Jesus. Of course
this begs the question: what to do about Mary? Yes, Wary does seem right for her, only how
to convince others? And what, what to do about man/woman? It's tangled. I am not lacking
hope. I received from a layperson just last Tuesday this letter and its linguistics of love spurs
me on. The young lady writes,
I am writing either to thank you or blame you for my lovelife. Really, I'm not sure what to
say if anything at all. I do not know that the mouth has worth. You may interpret this as
me saying I do not know what was worth his mouth. Both are true.
See, I was interning in a furniture store, tasked with rearranging the showroom floor.
I put the divans to the east, the settees to the west. Couches north and sofas south.
the divans were where the door was.
The manager was in a slight stew. He said, the door is impassable, to put it wildly.
Yes, wild! I had thought then. You must understand, after such a couchlife, how I longed to hear—
I think I love you, I said, to put it mildly.
The manager demanded, Who are you?
I was an internee. Who was he?
I am the widower, he said.
You must understand my mishearing. Why wis-hearing?
After he had had me, and I he, on the settee,
he spoke softly: Your body is the land of whelk and honey.
He repeated, Whelk and honey.
Dear sir, Sea slugs!
If he could have, with his tattered furniture fingers, traced across my shoulders M I L K—
Sir, do you have a provision for things such as these?
For he did not spell on my shoulders. He kneeled on his knee.
He said, Weary me.
I regret, sir, not swimming with him in the cold blue sea.
For I know you are thinking I don't know this, but I do. I know, or knew—
that what I had taken for the male wink
was really the lovely shuttering eye of a whale, a minke.
The story is slight. I know. It is ever so slight and meek, dry, barely palatable. But! It is wine.
Yours, in a sad wood, lost in the moods—
Etc. etc. She signs it very fondly, she sees the problems yet she also sees how the solutions
are within our grasp. These are mighty weighty times and I am simply glad to be a part of
them. I am spurred on.
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