Monday, February 21, 2011

On Words

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - - that's all."
--Lewis Carroll,Through the Looking Glass

Either Carroll was prescient and a prophet, or things have not changed all that much since his day.
You heard what I said, but I think you don't realize that what you heard is not what I meant.


Vee said...

And exactly what did you mean? At one time in my life I memorized "Jabberwocky" from that book. Why? Don't know!

Sharkbytes said...

There is so much in those books. I love 'em. They sure don't write books like that for children any more.

Lin said...

I love children's books that aren't "dumbed down" for kids. I think there are lots of great kid book writers who get that.

vanilla said...

Vee: 'Twas brillig and the slithy tove...

Sharkbytes: Dodgson/Carroll was a brilliant man and a fantastic writer. 'Fantastic.'

Lin: "Kids' books, indeed. Some of my favorites to this day include Carroll's, Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Twain's Tom Sawyer, of course, and I could go on.