Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Read This Poem. I Dare You.

"[English does not] just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." ~~ James Nicoll

I was reminded of this observation today, when a friend shared the poem below. It is an unusual poem, in that it was contrived to shed light on the difficulty of its own words. I usually do not read poems out loud, even though I am aware that all poems make more sense that way. But I made a point of doing so in this case, and I am glad I did.

I am a pretty good reader and I speak -- mostly in English -- for a living. But reading at a normal pace, I was tongue-tied on many lines.

I was also reminded of those who believe that learning a language is easy, though they have never tried to do so themselves. (Read it below or try the original post for some context and a larger font.)

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