30 June 2006

Silent K, Silent G

The English language is weird. I before E except after C. How did they come up with the plural of "hippopotamus" being "hippopotami?" The silent K in knife, knickers, and the like has confounded me since at the tender age of six, on a road trip with my grandparents, we were playing a game of I spy.

"I spy something that begins with the letter K," my grandfather said.

"Katie?" An obvious guess since that's my name. Should have known (ARGH! KNOWN!) from the start that grandpa would never give me something that easy. "Keys? Kite? Kitchen?" Really hard to come up with things that start with K in a Grand Marquis that is barrelling down the PA turnpike on the way to visit your uncle in Ohio. Grandpa let me go on for what felt like ages. Finally, when I had exhausted every "K" word I could think of, he triumphantly announced:

"Knapsack!"

I can still hear my groaning. I was six, for pete's sake!! Come on. Knapsack? That's just mean.

Ever since, the whole silent K and silent G phenomenon before some words has bothered me. I realized that they only seem to happen before the letter N. What's N got to do with it? My daughter's name begins with N, why didn't we start it off with a K or a G? "Oh no, that's Knatalie with a K" we could snobbily tell people. Warp a perfectly good normal name into some bastard cousin of Madyson or Kayleigh or whatever the middle class is calling their children these days in an effort to be different. However, I do think it would be kind of funny, in an inside joke kind of way. I just don't think she'd find it funny on the first day of school every year having to explain to her teachers that her parents were a little nuts when she was born.

But I think we still might have to call her Gnat just for fun.

Observed on the Metro

I saw a woman whose hair resembled a sea anemone. Now, sometimes my hair is not unlike a sea anenome, but never on purpose. This was most definitely on purpose, as it was perfectly coiffed and this woman was obviously on her way to work. Each little spike of hair was all the same length, evenly spaced in a perfect little spiky poof on her head. Not an odd hairstyle for a late 70's early 80's Sex Pistols fan, but a very odd style for a middle aged professional type woman.

Last week, there was a man sleeping on the train. Youngish, in a dapper suit with good shoes (always something to check out on boys as it says a lot if he cares about his footwear). Dead asleep. He had a black knit cap pulled down over his eyes like an urban sleep mask for the tired commuter. What's funny, is that this happened in June. It may be a great idea for catching some extra winks while otherwise doing nothing, it just looks a little doofy when it's 87 degrees out with amazonian humidity.

29 June 2006

In the beginning...

...there was me. And I was bored. And had too many thoughts in my head. We'll see where this goes.