I am not fit to write.
My eyes are seemingly bleeding pain.
It’s because I am considered by many to be a vo·ra·cious reader. I despise being viewed as voracious. I am hardly considered voracious in anything else I do. (Some of the things I do in private are seemingly voracious; but that is not a matter of public record and, therefore, cannot be classified as voracious by anyone but me.) As a political moderate, non-religious, European American (essentially Melba toast), it seems counter-intuitive to me to be voracious in or about anything. For me, being voracious is something akin to being gluttonous or swinish. I imagine myself half-dressed, eyes red and hanging from their sockets, torn scraps of paper clinging to my blood- and sweat-covered body, greedily grabbing Kindles, newspapers and books from people on trains who cower at the very sight of me – the crazed swinish, ravenous, voracious reading glutton!
Let’s see what I come up with.
Language seems so precise, yet it is often quite random in the way in which it is interpreted. Words and phrases locked inside our brains like stores of grain in a silo, each kernel wrapped in a shell of meaning so unique to each of us, to examine our interior semantics is often much like trying to crack open a walnut with a beach ball. For example, when on earth has anyone ever thrown caution to the wind as I say I am doing right now? How in the feck would one go about doing that? Is caution a handful of something? Can it be balled-up, taken out the back porch and heaved into the wind like an overly-filled vacuum canister? Where do you store caution if it isn’t quite windy enough to throw it? Can caution go stale? What happens when it is windy-enough and your canister filled with caution comes back and hits you square in the face? Throwing caution to the wind may be filled with any number of surprises that can, under the proper conditions, get in your eyes and cling to your Chapstick-ed lips.
While I was resting my eyes, out of nowhere, the guy in the office beside me shouted, THAT’S BULL CRAP! I took this enthusiastic exclamation to mean I should explore the topic of bull crap more fully. (I was looking for a sign or something to write about anyway. When you’re looking for a sign, everything becomes a sign.)
Why do people always use the term bull crap over other kinds of crap? Human crap, for example, is probably the worst crap-type of all. Why don’t we say instead, I DON’T BELIEVE YOU! THAT’S HUMAN CRAP! Or maybe we could just say, THAT’S CRAP! and let the listener conjure h/er own plant or animal stand in.
A monkey for example.
Or a herd of elephants!
Why not a wilder beast?
There are SIMPLY TENS (or maybe several) of animals (especially carnivores) that could easily compete for the distinction of having a standard of crap that far surpasses a bull’s crap – not only in odor, but in texture and consistency, but the enviable ability to activate the gag reflex.
Anyway, my eyes were settled enough this afternoon for me to look up bulls on Wikipedia. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t a WORD , phrase or definition related to crap. Not a syllable about what makes bull crap so distinctive that it is held out as the very epitome of crap-types.
The word bull, in this sense, may be simply a derivative of the French word boul meaning fraudulent and deceitful. It’s much like the way I pronounce the words cube(r) and idea(er) or any word, really, that ends with an Ah-sound. But if a word actually does end in er, those letters are pronounced as if they were not even there at all, replaced, instead with an Ah-sound.
It’s all very much a mystery.
Words, phrases and meanings.
I am grateful that people know what I’m trying to say. They just get used to hearing me say certain things and we get on with things. They often ask me is I’m from Australia, and I say, “No, Cape Cod,” and they nod as if they understand me better – as if they grasp my essence after finding out where I come from.
Much like how we all learned the recognize the term boul-crap.
I’m not sure what boul and crap have in common. The French are an odd bunch. Worthy of note, however, is the South African English equivalent of boul crap which is bull dust. I discovered few other corresponding terms for boul crap in other languages, with the significant exception of the German word bockmist, which literally means billy-goat shit.
(Why isn’t the B in billy goat capitalized?)
If the competition for crap-king lies between the bull and the billy-goat, my vote is confidently cast for the bull. Billy-goat crap is no worse than rabbit shite. Even a chipmunk has worse crap than a rabbit. Rabbit crap is simply a nuisance that you might just shoo off your clothes or hardly notice if you stepped in it. Fresh-cut grass smells like rabbit and billy goat shite, and you don’t see people running from their lawns in terror of its smell, now do you? Sometimes the flies drawn to rabbit and billy goat crap are more bothersome than the crap, itself. Regardless, there is simply no comparison between rabbits and chipmunks – or bulls and billy goats when it comes to their shite.
After resting my eyes a bit, I now feel myself compelled to protect the bull from what appears to be a gross miscarriage of justice. (Justice by the way is yet another French derivative meaning righteousness and equity. Of course it hardly means that anymore. Why don’t we all just speak French? It seems one has to learn French these days in order to understand and speak English. Besides, there is very little ambiguous meaning in French.)
If it is true, and we really do mean to say boul and not bull, then bulls have been the target of a great deal of wholly unwarranted criticism for at least hundreds (maybe thousands and millions) of years! I would say that bulls have gotten a bum rap, but I’m afraid I’d have to explain what that means, and my eyes are starting to hurt again.
We can just make an educated guess that the phrase is a French derivative and be done with it.
Anyway . . . why is monkeys spelled with an ‘eyes’ instead of an ‘ies’?
The world is surely going to hell in a hand-wagon.
And what does any of this have to do with emotional intelligence?
Simply, words, phrases and meanings just seem so much more important today.
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