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  • 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: Apple.

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.

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