Un-Wrapping the Words

Menu Grammar Check

By Delbert H. Rhodes

Flowing upon the page words form living chains, strings of text for everyone to admire.

Grammatical portrayals of punctuation, style, and phrase abound and although seen remain invisible to uninformed eyes. The expression “Family Dining ‘At It’s Best!'” demonstrates improper grammar.

The neuter pronoun it as used here in the Contraction form (It’s) rather requires the Possessive form (its) without apostrophe, and as such erroneous grammar cannot hide. Naturally, one hopes that the error was intentional so as to make some sort of point. Terminologies enthrall, persuade, discourage, and overwhelm and even abhor us. They are a mixed bag of human emotions; and thereby, control us as readers, and listeners and as people caring to peruse the written page.

Expressions may be similar, or altogether different still interpretations are as diverse as are the people exposed to the scripts.

The world of words opens us to the worlds of the past, present and future; it recaptures childhoods, makes us cry out in the night and helps us to constructively analyze events living in the yesterdays of tomorrows. Searching bestows treasures unavailable without a willful inquisitiveness.

The lyric of song fills the air with musical passions; rivers of imagination float us away. We drift, as would aimless canoes propelled by rushing waters. Fantasies groping and swelling; our faces brightened by big eyes in the face of twilight; the coming day offering the end to suffrage and the beginnings of joy.

I love words, they challenge me to take risks; while daring me to look inward at someone or something difficult to bear: something I, preferably, would ignore or deny. Words, and the manner in which I make use of them “make use of me” and difficult though it may be, they forge a better person.

The writer is merely an architect drawing images of illusion: titillating the fancies of individuals creatively reaching beyond their grasps; every venue representative of imaginatively stirring lures parenting dire circumstances; each moment availing itself to passionate artistic muse by manner of creative genius.

Ideas, and no matter their seeming fixations are flexible, lending themselves to modification and to the living will of change.

If the world of words, and the graciousness abounding within their elements were attractive then what one finds and understands is that words offer something nothing else can and that is the opportunity to create reality from unreal sources. By bending truth, and fiction and making dreams come true the world of words helps us to believe.

Meeting the challenge lives in the hearts of the daring and the risks may be great. Whatever one’s truth or fiction unearthing the treasures of text demands searching, finding and then un-wrapping the world of words.

Copyright © 2013 Delbert H. Rhodes


A Mental Mesh: The Question of Thinking and Understanding

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

By Delbert H. Rhodes

Life is a moment forever adapting and adopting, ever witnessing changes to all it embraces. Within this sphere, the human mind offers its hosts endless situations and circumstances, events demanding considerations and results.

Throughout our lives, we experience networks of thinking, but how many (of us) understand the processes involved, the electrochemical chain connecting the illustrious spans to the bridges of the mind. The system is complex and until time ceases, forever, this mental matrix would hold us in its hands.

Can we (always) understand every sound every thought every (thing)? The provisions of thinking afford us a sense of the world within which we live. Without thinking and understanding as humans, we would be lost in aimless not to mention mindless behavior (s). Join me, and in this discussion, we consider a number of situations, events common to us (all), situations that (could) strike the matches of the mind.

Daily use of automobiles is commonplace, but how common is the knowledge of the engineering, the mechanics? For instance, what actually happens after inserting the key into the ignition switch and then turning it? Or and if you have a newer model, either an electronic key or automatic starter button ignites the engine. Most drivers understand (only) that after completing ignition the engine should start, they engage the gearing, turn the steering wheel, manipulate the gas and brake pedals, direct the vehicle forwards or backwards and then off it goes.

Ok, and this makes my point, a lesser group of people (actually) care (or know) that the mechanical worlds of the engine and other related parts provide the resources to propel the vehicle, allowing drivers to attend daily needs.

In the human worlds, and in my opinion and experience, all events are (seemingly) met with the same type of attentive focus; we either know or not; or care or not.

Encountering situations and circumstances is relative; whether individual or group responses may vary. In a college classroom, the professor offers students food for thought, hoping to encourage active thinking. The students (individually) may have similar or differing points of view; as a group, they may engage in passionate discussion and debate. Left alone the individual may simply choose to daydream in disregard.

Do we understand why birds sing, or why dogs bark, and what is Meow? Why is it that and with some exceptions, only humans speak? According to the “professional thinkers,” many animals have the vocal constructs for speech, yet simply do not. What of the professional thinkers, why are we quick to accept their points of view, or at least lend to them greater credibility? Do degrees and dogmas offer better pathways to truth; and is the pathway any less encumbered when brightened by PhD, MD, or DDS? We are taught to think…Yes.

Please and here is a peek at my ignorance, tell me, does being “well educated” assert that the person is (was) “educated well”? Does he or she (actually) have acute knowledgeable understanding, and able to verbally or in writing, and or physically demonstrate and to what degree, of the skills regarding the area of study? (Huh!) EXACTLY.

Should I seek the doctor or dentist with many degrees or one whom has credibility? That is, one who has demonstrated the competencies in medicine or dentistry? Ok, most of us believe, and feel assured, that whenever our professionals have many degrees in their representative areas of study and or practice (hum-“Practice”?) they are “good doctors,” “esteemed professionals,” they are proficient. Therefore, we search for the best of the lot. Still, considering the possibilities, WELL EDUCATED may not mean EDUCATED WELL.

Speaking of education, I fail to understand why, and mind you, I am not a grammarian, some people say, “I had came” when the correct statement would be “I had come”; or, why others would say, “I had did” instead of and correctly, “I had done.” Surely many of us have friends and acquaintances who speak in this manner. Truly, many of us graduate from high schools and colleges, and have been “well educated,” yet speak poorly.

This is not true only of non-professionals, but of many in the mainstream media, and others in the commercial arenas. Occasionally, and while watching televised news, I noticed that the reporters, and on camera, continually misused the English (as we know it) language.

Years ago while listening to a talk radio station and a favorite program of mine, the host said, “I had did” and then I wanted to run screaming into the woods. Again, I am no perfect speaker, but incorrect is incorrect. We (all) should endeavor to speak correctly, but the problem is how could we if we fail to recognize the need. That said poor speech during company meetings serves no one, denigrating both the company and the speaker.

In commercial advertising, this fact also is true. Recently while browsing the web site of a professional photographer, throughout the site I noted poor grammar. Describing certain (lovely) photographs of her clients, the photographer used these phrases, “I been”; “I seen”; “The couple …were”; seriously, and are you kidding! Honestly, why would anyone choose to pay for poor representations?

Regrettably, many of us graduate from high schools and colleges without a proper education. Some of us receive a poor education because of academic professionals who are disinterested or lazy and fall short of proper instruction. This fact may be true, but students and parents share the blame. As students, we have a responsibility to attend schools and colleges with the intention to learn. We too must toe the line, we must accept the responsibility and without excuses.

Students, failing to meet educational requirements are sometimes suffering from special circumstances. Dyslexia, problems at home and other critical and unobserved emotional difficulties represent significant elements responsible for how students perform academically. Sometimes, the reasons are (simply) disinterest and laziness. Parents have a greater responsibility to be vigilant of (their) children and in every arena of learning. Actively preparing children for lives of responsibility is the role of parents. Parents failing in this quest have failed their children.

In the world of misunderstanding and failure to “get it,” lives the aimless and carefree. Here I offer the ridiculous.

Why are (some) women seemingly careless with their children? (Men, get off your high horse, you are next in line.) In example, in a parking lot a woman, with a young child in her arms, walks over to a couple, the couple has a dog. The woman with the child lowers the child to the ground in order that the child can play with the dog. The child is standing less than two feet behind the rear bumper of a parked car. The driver (of the parked car) begins to back the car out of the parking space.

Mommy, busy playing with the dog, notices neither the reverse lights (the reverse lights are on), nor the vehicle’s movement. Stepping away from my location, I (placing my hand into the air and in the “stop” position) alert the driver, he immediately stops the vehicle-apparently, the driver could not see the child; simultaneously I advise mommy of the danger. She (now) secures her child.


Ok guys, your turn: Why is it that (some) men tend to enjoy reading a newspaper (or electronic notebooks or whatever) while driving on busy roadways or even bridges? COME ON! STUPID is STUPID!

In either case, and as adults, we have had enough time to realize that the world around us deserves our immediate attention to details.

Mommy, whenever out with young children they must (always) be secure and safe from potential harm. Men, you may believe that you are without idiotic behaviors, if so, then the belief is short-lived.

Folks: It takes just “one time,” and entire lives change forever. Yes, we (all) equally share (in some way) the title of stupid, and many of us continue, and no matter the known dangers, to do things that place others and us, and including innocent children, at risk of injury and or death. None of us is exempt from accidents, and daily, all of us (even minimally) are guilty of “active stupidity.” Therefore, be thoughtful…be CAREFUL!

The truth is and in my opinion, we can never think of or understand everything; we therefore, operate in (a) blind acceptance and throughout our lifetime. Daily we encounter things situations circumstances even tragedies that simply make little sense; these events and even after great speculation (sometimes) end in the bottom drawer, the world of the lost and the unexplained; the world of the unknown and the unwanted.

Summation: (remember I am not a scientist).

Thinking and understanding, are electrochemical inducements of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Therefore, would it be correct to say, that these are “intangibles”? In other words, when and how do we actually realize thinking? How do we “sense” it? Can it be touched, can we “feel” it? Is the mystery of thinking hidden somewhere in the brain and spinal cord? Moreover, if it cannot be touched, if we cannot feel it, then it has no surface or texture; and what of surfaces and textures, are the interpretations of these (also) not inducements of the brain (the CNS)?

Intangible?: according to “The American Heritage dictionary,” Fourth Edition copyright (c) 2001 Houghton Mifflin, p. 444, 1. Incapable of being perceived by the senses; lacking physical substance, 2. Incapable of being realized or defined.

Additionally and regarding perception, what is it? Does it truly exist, or are we (humans) automatons (“blank slates”) manipulated and controlled in accordance to some preconceived master plan of the professional thinkers. Further, can something without physical substance and deemed incapable of realization be also described as “unreal”?

Contemplating the question of thinking and understanding, momentary lifetimes evolve attempting to make sense of it all; a host of well-educated professionals is well paid, to guide our thinking, to interpret and define, to help us understand. Sometimes, we need only to seek the thinking and understanding of children, for and sometimes, in their innocence we find truth.

Thinking understanding and truth: perhaps ‘one day’ we would know; maybe ‘one day’ we would “understand.”

I wake each morning to the sweet sounds of birdsong; and it matters not whether the experience (the mental mesh) is tangible or intangible, and truly it matters not that I understand; however, and regardless how these sounds may be interpreted or defined, certainly it matters how I feel; and the lovely alluring songs thrill me; they make me happy. In this life, moments are few, but if we are fortunate, the few could be many.

Copyright © 2012 Delbert H. Rhodes