Poetry Break: Don't Read This!
Stop now, or you'll read to the end . . . and perhaps be offended by my linguistic offense.
Last chance. Stop.
Too late. Might as well continue.
My friend Bill Vallicella concerns himself with words and their distinctions, such as the difference between "where" and "whence," but also suggests that he's not so extreme as that underground grammarian Richard Mitchell.
Mitchell -- who, by the way, is now literally underground -- held a low opinion of poetry, considering it "a little worse than shoplifting," so he'd probably call the police on me if he were still around. But as one of the "unacknowledged legislators" of the world, I can revoke old laws and pass new ones, so no formal structure, no "prison-house of language," would hold me for long.
I now commit my crime of indifference:
"Wood" now no longer sounds crazy,
While "stout" only scarcely seems strong;
"Foul" connotes nothing of lazy,
And "sin" suggests nothing much wrong.
Words molt old meanings like feathers,
Make speaking a spiel of dumb luck,
Bring us all to the ends of our tethers,
Leave us all without giving a f**k.
Horace Jeffery Hodges