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Category: Language

K
One might think that the letter K does not need anyone to stick up for it. It is, after all, the strongest and most stable of all the letters. If you have ever tried to knock over a K, you know what I’m talking about.

But in spite of its stature (or perhaps because of it) K has always been a target of disrespect and prejudice within the alphabetical community. When I asked K directly about this, it simply shrugged its shoulder and smiled.

If you really want to know, I think the other letters are jealous. Part of the reason seems to be its emphatic clarity. That “kuh” cannot be mistaken for any other sound in the alphabet. Ts and Ds, for example, are both similarly hard-edged, but they are often mistaken for one another. Bs and Ps can be, too, though less often. Vs and Fs are similarly mushy. Ditto Rs and Ws and Ns and Ms. And the vowels are a total mish-mash. I think they look at the distinctiveness of K and are filled with envy.

They seem determined to assuage their own feelings of inferiority by trying to rob K of any chance to show its singular strength. Take, for instance, the word “knock” used in the first paragraph of this piece. I regret even using the word, but it does clearly illustrate my point. It is, in fact, a doubly insulting putdown.

The “kn” in knock uses the K as a silent prop for a completely unrelated sound. K is forced to stand there — at the very beginning of the word! — and do nothing. We blow right by it to pronounce the N and move on without giving it a thought. Even worse is the “ck” at the end. Why has C been allowed to horn in on K’s rightful linguistic territory? K does not need a C next to it to provide its “kuh” sound.

But I don’t want to dwell here on the antics of one sneak thief, lowlife, backstabbing slut of a letter — not when we have K to talk about. And I know that K itself has no interest in participating in the petty sniping engaged in by some of its peers. K is above that kind of thing. It is also quietly confident, self-reliant, and secure in its good looks. It is no wonder that other letters are jealous. And, if challenged, K would be more than capable of taking care of itself in a fight. If could certainly wreak havoc with that massive tusk. Or do some serious butt-kicking with its big front hoof.

But K is way too cool, too nice for that. And maybe that’s the problem. Perhaps K’s reserved manner and noble bearing are being mistaken for aloofness — or even disdain. If true, that would be sad. Anyone who has ever gotten to know K (as I have) can tell you it is as warm and real as any phonic symbol you are ever likely to meet.
Misspelled
I thought that misspelled
Was mispelt
I know I'm misstaken
But that is how I felt
Fluff Not
This Eaganblog marks my 400th, and in keeping with my promise that absolutely no one has asked for, I am taking a look back at what I have done here. As with my 100th, 200th, and 300th, I see mixed results.

First, the writing itself. Once again, I am way over my limit with modifiers — too many adjectives and adverbs are gumming up the works. All those multisyllabic words (see what I mean?) are just bumps in the road on the way to getting my message across. Come to think of it, there have been too many syllables, period. Best to keep it simple, in my view, but it seems that the temptation of syntactical fluffery is still too hard to resist. I resolve to do better. Perhaps better verbs will ameliorate.

My choices of subject matter have been pretty constant, but I am happy to report that I have backed off in the Politics category. (There are, in case you haven’t noticed, categories of blog that have been compiled from Eaganblog. Click on “Categories” to see them.) I don’t have a whole lot left to say, after all, about Drump and his enablers in Congress. All crooks, and not a sincere belief or redeeming human quality among them. I’d call them traitors, but that word has lost a lot of its meaning these days. Anyway, they are a collective blight we will have to endure until we can find the right disinfectant. As to their supporters among our fellow citizens? What the hell are we going to do with these people? When I come up with an answer — even a lame one — I’ll let you know.

Speaking of categories, I am generally happy with the Poems collection. A couple of clunkers in there, but they’re generally amusing in a goofy sort of way. Even the few serious efforts wear well when I go back and read them. There is still no “Epigrams” category, sad to say. I had originally imagined that I might generate a lot of those. But pairing brevity with genuine pith is easier said than done, and the high quality epigrams have just not been happening. I hope to rise to that challenge soon.

I am fond of the Big Picture category, though there haven’t been too many additions to it recently. My very first blog, back in 2012, was a Big Picture entry. Can it be that I have run out of fundamental ideas? Have I exhausted my supply of Truly Important things to say? Am I that shallow? Don’t answer that.

Before I go, one more question: punctuation? In a word, yes. Specifically, yes to parentheses, dashes, and hyphens. Some might say that I overuse these tools, but I have no apologies for those critics even if they don’t exist. I am, at heart, a prescriptivist when it comes to language, but I like the informal, conversational tone these marks can produce. This essay, for instance, has two sets of parentheses and several em dashes. No hyphens, though, at least until I label this an exercise-in-retrospective-self-indugence blog.

You see? Too much fluffery. Again.
Never Ending
Lather up.
Hunker down.
Go below.
Screw around.

Go along.
Get by.
Roll over.
Run inside.

Do without.
Fall behind.
Get one off.
Go outside.

Come on over.
Come on in.
Turn it on.
Go between.

Turn it around.
Work it all out.
Come from above.
That’s what it’s all about.

Where do you come from?
Where have you been to?
Where is your head at?
What are you into?

You know what I’m against?
Using a preposition
To end a
Sentence with.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon