Let’s get together and celebrate our nation

My Sentiments Exactly

It’s funny really, the wide variety of meanings a single word can convey.

For instance, take the word “curfew.”

For parents, this is a word that ensures healthy guidelines, necessary structure and some modicum of safety. It’s generally considered positive.

To teenagers it’s a prison sentence imposed by control-freak torturers determined to ruin their lives — and is generally considered evil.

And speaking of the aforementioned freaks, what about the word “control” itself? Let’s consider that one real quick.

To a great many, control suggests regulated management, carefully planned organization or emotional restraint. They think of it as, you know, a good thing.

To others, control conjures images of dictators, tyrants or monarchs imposing their selfish wills upon certain defenseless subjects. And they, of course, find it to be ruthless and inherently wrong, duh.

Or, well, maybe that’s just the teenagers’ perspective again? Hmm.

Either way, one word and several potential, often conflicting, definitions, no?

And it’s not just a generational or familial matter.

According to the Speak English institute, the following are among the most commonly used words with wide-ranging meanings; ones that the humans who communicate in English (or who are trying to learn how) often misconstrue at first blush. SE explains them as such — with a PK take following each, FYI:

• Current — Used as a noun, “current” refers to a flow of water or electricity. Used as an adjective, it describes something modern, trendy or happening now. I’m not gonna lie, I tend to think of the word first and foremost in terms of wassup in da world, you dig?

• Bark — The verb “to bark” is the sound a dog makes. The noun “bark” refers to a tree covering. My mind and heart leap to Fido, yo. Listen, I agree that I shall never see a thing so lovely as a tree … except for a canine, a’ight? Fellow dog people, bark, er, back me up here!

• Tie — This noun usually refers to an item of clothing worn around one’s neck with a shirt and often a suit. The verb asserts the action of joining two things together by a knot or band. How about if I go with neither of these as my first impulse? I always think of it in terms of two number ones or shared second places, you feel me? In other words, my initial feeling on the word leaps to a stalemate, which makes this definition, in and of itself, a tie. I mean, a draw. Aw shoot, you know what I mean.

As for this weekend’s focus on independence, I realize that word means a whole heap o’ different stuff to folks, especially in the CURRENT climate.

But whether you’re a toddler seeking to walk without being forced to hold someone’s hand, a teen wanting to drive to the store alone for the first time or a recent graduate looking to live in a dorm or apartment away from home FINALLY, there’s one thing we can all agree on as it relates to true independence:

The Americans who fought like the dickens to establish our freedom deserve our thanks on the Fourth (or Third or Fifth) of July and always. So let’s get together, love and respect one another, and be the one nation under God that our founders envisioned — and that I know, deep in my patriotic ticker, we are, capisce?

— Kimerer is a blogger / columnist who just wants her fellow citizens to be safe, healthy, and nice. And oh yeah, to love America as much as she does. Check out her red, white and blog stuff at www.patriciakimerer.com.


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