In the vagaries of the English language, I’m “amused”. I’m also amused by the vagaries of the English language, but that’s not actually what I mean.
No; if “amoral” means “lacking morals”, and “atonal” means “toneless”, and “achromatic” means “without colour”, then I’m “amused”. As in “lacking muse”.
Which is a fancy way to say I don’t know what to write about today.
So I shall resort to poking fun at the English language. If the prefix “a-” indicates absence or lack, then why doesn’t “acute” mean “ugly”? Why doesn’t “along” mean “short” and “alike” mean “hate”? And if I amend an item, am I actually ripping it apart?
After coming up with a few other examples, I just couldn’t resist messing around with some flash fiction:
Flash Fiction: Afoul Play (On Words)
Setting my torch alight, I stood blinking, blinded by the sudden blackness. When the vague outlines of the hallway emerged from the dark, I crept forward. The groan of a loose floorboard underfoot made me flinch, my heart drumming against my ribs.
Glad to be alone, I turned to Jim. “Man, why did we let Rick talk us into this? And why are we still doing it when he didn’t even bother to show up?”
Jim replied with his usual unintelligible mumble before pressing his lips tightly agape, but I didn’t let it bother me. He always spoke aloud.
Behind me, Lucy whispered, “Light the torch. This is too creepy. Maybe we heard Rick aright. After all, it was two weeks ago. Maybe he meant twelve noon, not midnight.”
“No, I’m sure he meant midnight,” I argued. “He said we had to sneak in when it was dark, and he teased me that I’d probably arouse at eleven and sleep through the whole thing.”
A few minutes of stealthy tiptoeing later, Lucy hissed, “Oh, gross! Do you smell that? There’s something alive here. It smells like it’s been rotting for weeks!”
“Probably just a dead mouse or something,” I said with more confidence than I felt.
“It can’t be. It’s too strong. It smells like something…” Her voice trembled. “Something big.” Her nails dug into my shoulder. “What’s that aloft? On the floor under that big table?”
I swallowed hard and peered through the dimness.
“Light it! Light the torch!”
Jim’s shout startled me so much I nearly dropped the torch. It bobbled dangerously and Lucy’s shaking hands clamped over mine, pulling the torch atilt to prevent the oil from spilling out.
My lighter clicked. Flames flared high, revealing the reason why Rick hadn’t joined us tonight.
“Rick! Ohmigod, Rick!”
Lucy’s screams echoed in my ears as my stomach lurched. My knees gave way and I arose to the ground, the impact jarring me asleep…
Which means awake… but “awake” actually means asleep.
Which would mean I was awake to start with…
Which means I was sleeping…
So did this really happen, or was it a dream?
Well dang, it looks as though I’ve written a blog post after all. Maybe I wasn’t as “amused” as I thought. But I still think English is a very funny language!
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Addendum: It seems WordPress has been having difficulties lately, and sometimes when you try to leave a comment you get a page that says “This comment could not be posted” or some other error message. If that happens to you here, I’m sorry, and thanks for trying. If you want to try again, here’s what has worked for me on other blogs:
- Type your comment as usual, but before clicking Post Comment, highlight the comment and press Ctrl-C on your keyboard to copy it.
- Then click the Post Comment button.
- If a page comes up saying “This comment could not be posted”, click the Back button to return to the page
- Then press the F5 button on your keyboard to refresh the page.
- Paste your comment back into the comment box by pressing Ctrl-V.
- Click Post Comment again.
Usually the second time’s the trick, but sometimes it wants a couple of tries. It’s a huge pain in the butt and I hope they have it resolved soon, but in the mean time, thank you for trying.