Saturday, April 11, 2009

Words and changing usage

Words are my tools ( was - My tools are words, )
and love them as I may,
the common herd makes use of them,
misuses, I might say,
were I inclined to pedantry.
‘You are’ I hear the call.
These tools you hone and store
are not locked up from pilferers
but lie in sight of all.
They die without the light
unpolished, lacking shine.
The trains of thought must run and run,
or rails, long since disused,
will dull and fade to history,
like Concorde, paper aeroplane
that’s banished from the skies
mere symbol of our past delights
profligate supersonic flights.
But words, just words is all they are,
these tools inside my kit
and if abused and then refused
they’ll wither on the line.

This came from two things. I saw the word 'illusive'. I thought it was made up, a mis-spelling of 'elusive'. But no, it exists, meaning 'illusory'. Though it was used as though it meant 'elusive'. The shifting sands of semantics caught at the moment when meaning slipped through my fingers.

Then there was a 'prompt' - paper aeroplane.

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