The English language is a slippery beast. Non-native speakers (and even quite a few native speakers) have a terrible time deciphering some of our words and their slippery meanings. For example, the old linguistic conundrum “Time flies” shows us how many of our words can be used in different function classes, from noun to verb and back again. To explain further, “time” can be either a noun or a verb. In the first case, the phrase, using “time” as a noun, means that time (or life) flies (goes quickly). In the second case, “time” is a verb in the imperative voice, commanding the listener to time (or measure out in seconds or minutes) how fast “flies” (the pesky little winged creatures) travel.
Another example is one I thought of in the depths of night, one of those half-waking, half-sleeping moments when the mind takes on a remarkable clarity that is almost always lost with morning’s light, like the dreams we have that we try to hold onto after waking but that almost always slip away before we can write them down or even tell them to someone. Here it is: “I lie on my bed sheets” and “I lie on my tax sheets.” The meanings of the two have a way of slipping around, like trying to run in glass shoes on a frozen lake, or writing with quicksilver on wax paper. My night thoughts were more complete than this, but whatever else I thought of is now consigned to that cabinet in the sky where all our lost dreams and thoughts reside.
It's a frigid Sunday morning in the Valley, at least frigid by Arizona standards, not so much so by South Dakota or Upstate New York standards. I see out the window near my computer the wind blowing through our arbor vitae trees, making then sway left and right like overweight dancers doing a slow foxtrot, sun-drenched under a cloudless sky. But I've been outdoors this morning and that wind and the forty-five degrees on my back patio told me it was way too cold for golf. Who needs to work at golf on a day such as this? Not I.
So, I'll sit here at my computer until the NFL games come on to take me away to a place where huge gladiators do battle on their chosen fields, the Cardinals fighting the Seahawks. I just hope the smaller birds can hold off the larger ones.