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Of Puddyng, Dumpling, And Pumblyng

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Jayne Dullahan

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The letter Y is simply medieval. By this I do not mean that it barbarically assaults you with blunt and fearsome weaponry, and of course it isn't illiterate [well, or literate]. I mean rather, it is, perhaps besides the þ or ð, both still in use in modern Icelandic although long since dropped from English, the most medieval letter in existence. It has the unique property of being a hermaphrodite, mostly a consonant (masculine) but sometimes a vowel (feminine)--name me another letter that can do THAT, or indeed a mammal--, and it is this letter, the seahorse of cyphers, along with the u and double consonants that consistently attract my attention.

For this reason words like "bunny" and "pudding" (which was once spelled as you see above--with a "y") distract (but at-tract) me continuously.

U is absurd.

Y is silly.

And who needs a double consonant? We know that "pudding" is not "puding," because "puding" with one "d" would be pronounced "pyewding," which, unimaginably, is even more ridiculous than "pudding." No one would say "puding," it sounds like vomit. So pudding it is. Despite the absurdity of "dd". So tell me why we spell the present progressive of the verb "to bus": busing. Not bussing. I, for one, protest, and always write "bussing"...but I also remain convinced the personified form of "travel" should be spelled with "ll," as should the present progressive form of "to travel," despite the objections of my spell-checker. I also used to think that, depending on the context, "of" had to be spelled "ove".

In fact present progressives--that is going, doing, being, bussing, baking, etc--are a damnable thing. It is formed by adding "ing" to a root: go-> going; do-> doing; be-> being...dumple [believe it or not] -> dumpling...

P1: what are you doing there?

P2: dumpling.

P1: delish! may I have a dumple? ...er...a dumpling? or a dumple. Whatever mood you are in.

so...pudding? according to the rule [these rules that tell me "busing" is right and not "bussing"...indignantly I rebuff them!!] the infinitive would be...pud. To pud. There is no "to pud" (there is "to bud," among other things! -> budding) so why no "pud"? I suggest we introduce "to pud," which would mean to mix up a vat of blood, grains, and entrails, put it in a stomach, and boil it. As there is clearly a need for it, since there is so much nominalized "pudding" about (not "puds" or "dumples," at least not in American...), we must need a verb for that activity, rather than encumbering ourselves with yet another helping verb, to make (in addition to "to be"). And if "ing" is the marker of the present progressive, then "making pudding" is downright silly.

P1: what are you making doing there?

P2: making going!

P1: you sound ridiculous!

P2: I? errr, me? you started the double progressives, you dumple!

Let's simplify!

P1: what are you doing there?

P2: pudding.

*P1 runs out the door*

But good. So dumpling is the present progressive of dumple--stay with me here, it's all logical--and pudding is the present progressive of pud, both foods and both involving a certain man-handling of ingrediants cooked in a particular manner, then what of pummel? Dumple and pummel are delightfully similar, and both involve man-handling; why is there no dish called "pummel" or "pummeling"? And whatever would it be? By definition it would have to be meat beaten beyond recognition, perhaps mince meat, for when we pummel someone, do we not make mince meat of them? So clearly, mince meat might also be called "pummeling". This would possibly have provided Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett with another verse for "A little Priest." How grim.

So: pummeling, dumpling, pudding are all progressives, and their roots are, respectively, pummel, dumple, and pud. Obviously "bring" is the progressive form, then, of "to br," "sing" the progressive of "to s" (or possibly "sy" with a dropped vowel) and finally "bling" must be the progressive of "to bl". To br: to kindly take an item along; To s[y]: to vocalize in an organized melodic manner; To bl: to consume conspicuously.

P1: I enjoy running, it fills me with purpose and pride.

P2: I enjoy listening, it provides me with knowledge and friends.

P1: I enjoy bussing, it provides me with opportunities to listen.

P2: I enjoy dumpling, it provides me with an outlet for my pent-up frustration and is easier on my knees than running.

P1: I enjoy pudding, it fills me with joy, it provides me a use for all my stray blood, entrails, stomachs and grain, and is easier on my joints than dumpling.

P2: I enjoy pummeling, it provides me with an outlet for my pent-up aggression, and...other things.

P1: I enjoy thing, it provides me...

P2: I enjoy bling, on any given day I bl, my friends bl, too, we bl stuff for my car, and yesterday I bled hot pink windshield wipers!!

:blink:

So. Two days slow. That's what it is, two days slow.

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Agreed, Bernie. This is very cool. Although I actually always though "bussing" WAS the conventional spelling of the word. I agree that this "busing" business is all a bit bogus.

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Hi Jayne, good to see you. Hi SWR, good to see you too.

Yeah, there are many, many inconsistencies in the English language, aren't there Jayne? I don't know why it worked out that way - maybe it went something like this:

P1 - "Damn! I can't work this out and get it to be consistent with everything else!"

P2 - "Sod it, why not just say it's an exception to the rule?"

P1 - "Yeah! Good idea; it can be another exception to the rule."

P2 - "Now that that's sorted out, let's go the pub!"

P1 - Excellent idea! They don't call you a genius for nothing, you know?!"

:lol:

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Hi SWR

I think the "ss" or the "ll" for travel is a regional oddity--English often has extra letters where American does not, which I find even more delightful--clearly my sensibilities, or is it inherent in the language?, are more in tune with English, which, to me at least, suggests on some level that the more 'streamlined' "they" try to make the language, the farther away they get from what it does naturally. American is so posey. English doesn't make much sense in any case, it's one of the most willy-nilly mongrel languages on earth, and American just persists in making it weirder. Like the "bussing" thing. That's just illogical. But then, so is the word bus. Or any word, when you think about it. Who looked at boiled stomach and decided, "henceforth you shall be called pudding, until people realize that pudding is a sound that is more appropriate for a boiled sweet concoction and call you sausedge in stead!"

Language is hilariously arbitrary. Thus, it should be trifled with. :)

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Yeah, totally agree about all words being nonesense - pick a word, any word, then think about it and say it over and over in your mind (for best effect do this when you're stoned! Haha) Words have these inherent meanings that we learn, but if you really think about them they seem totally bizarre.

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Hi Jayne, good to see you. Hi SWR, good to see you too.

Yeah, there are many, many inconsistencies in the English language, aren't there Jayne? I don't know why it worked out that way - maybe it went something like this:

P1 - "Damn! I can't work this out and get it to be consistent with everything else!"

P2 - "Sod it, why not just say it's an exception to the rule?"

P1 - "Yeah! Good idea; it can be another exception to the rule."

P2 - "Now that that's sorted out, let's go the pub!"

P1 - Excellent idea! They don't call you a genius for nothing, you know?!"

:lol:

:lol:

YES! I am sure that's exactly how it went. "Sod it, I'm off to the pub".

A friend of mine made a little movie about exactly what you said there, the exception to the rule thing, it's called "werner's law" and it's the catch all for consonant shifts that can't be explained!!! And then Werner went to a pub, I am quite certain.

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Well I certainly thought it was hilarious. He also made another one called "900 years of beef" that was essentially answering the question, why do we have the word "beef" in English. Brilliant.

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Sounds fascinating. I had wondered about that name, and many others too. And not just meat related either - what about the word door, or window? Where the hell did they come from? There are more modern words, possibly usually science related such as microwave that make more sense... but 'door'?! What does it mean :huh:

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Door is a great example. I know it to be Germanic--my favorite relative is the high medieval word "Slegetor", which is essentially a mix of a great entrance way and a guillotine.

But I don't know if there is a Latin cognate for door.

Either way, what came first, the thing or the word I wonder, and how in the world did they make the decision??

For that matter, who invented "w"? Who are we quoting every time we use that?

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We could go on forever, there are so many words, and they all seem very peculiar when you stop and think about them. And it does make you wonder whether the thing or the name came first - my first thought would be the thing; surely the thing now known as a door was invented to allow entrance to a building whilst keeping out the cold long before someone said "I know, lets call that movable obstruction a door"? And yeah, who invented "w"??

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Do you know, funny thing I was once speaking with someone who expressed a real fear that there was no answer, they called it an emptiness...and I find students tend to react that way too...but that's exactly what makes me so happy, it is just so wonderful, in the sense of you can wonder forever and ever, and even if you had an answer, there are so many exceptions and possibilities to expand...I just love the abyss, to use a term 'improperly', the empty expanse (down and out!) with no end in sight, so many questions to ask! Woe betide the end of the question!

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I totally agree - if we knew all the answers there'd be no point in anything, no mystery or intrigue or wonder!

But, having said that, I can understand why some people would have this fear of never knowing the answer.

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That reminds me of when John Lennon went in a helicopter or something with the Maharishi - he said he wanted to go with him because he "thought he might slip (him) the answer" :D

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Hi :D

Hope you don't mind me popping by, always feel like i'm snooping around in people's diaries when i view the blogs...maybe i'm just plain old paranoid .... :blink:

Though yes, i agree with you Jayne & Bernie - i like the idea of there being infinite possiblities and the notion that language is arbitrary. I don't like to feel things are set in stone and so definite. :)

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Hi Michelle, what are you doing down here, lurking in that corner?! :ninja: I don't know what you're worried about, you can snoop around here as much as you like! :D

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Oh i know, i do like to read the blogs, though sometimes forget they are here :lol:

... I was just being silly.. .....so what's new!! ^_^

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if i put my head in bucket of cold water will the madness go away

if i could be mute if language for thinking and speaking could all go away i would be happy

no of course not :banghead:

i love these new emotions

if perhaps i had an emotion plaque i could hold up if I had to show my feelings :umm_scratches_chin:

Jayne :imnotworthy: oh i just love this :rolleyes:

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Jayne - I've just discovered the blog section of the forum (and the gallery couple of days ago) - still new to the forum experience - and really enjoyed your blog :) . It, in a roundabout way, reminded me of the a short fiction story in the New Yorker from - about a month ago? - History of a Disturbance by Steven Millhauser - about a man who gives up language entirely because it is taking away (language is becoming inadequate) his experience of life.

A very brief description, but a brilliant story.

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Hello Fusia

that sounds great

I have wrote before about language being alian and I feel much better with out it

I didnt speak till I was about 5

Im still learning about human contrived language

:)

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