- Paul Davidson
Me, The Etymologist
For those just joining us, Etymology is the study of words.
I spent this morning in the shower taking a break from my current list of songs (which has been relegated to one-hit wonders from the 80’s and 90’s this month) to contemplate just how many different ways a human like myself could enunciate the word Haiku.
Me: Hi, Koo.
Me: High, coooo.
Me: Hike, ooh.
Me: Huh, Iku.
Me: Ha! I, koo.
After saying it about one-hundred times, I came to a very interesting conclusion. The word Haiku makes no sense whatsoever. It doesn’t sound like a real word. It doesn’t look like a real word. It doesn’t even smell like a real word. It got me thinking that maybe I picked the wrong word for my water-test. So, I tried a more mainstream one.
Me: Ah, pole.
Me: App, pile.
Me: A, ppffbtt, ill.
Why is it that, no matter the word… If you say it over and over and over and over and over again, it will eventually render itself useless as a coherent word. It suddenly becomes babble. It no longer makes sense as a real word and seems ludicrous that any one in their right mind would ever even name a real-life item with such strung-together consonants and vowels.
As for Haiku, someone out there pulled a big one over the world of poetry. I mean, c’mon! What slacker decided that a new form of poetry would be no more than THREE LINES, with easy to remember syllables (5, 7, 5) in those three lines? Haiku is like a dressed up version of the “There once was a woman from Nantucket… poems.
Poems, pome-s, po-ehms, pooooooomms….
God, please help me.