Other People’s Words

by nike, May 4, 2011

Some people like the way babies and young children grapple with language, working hard to make sense of the collision between the world of experience and the world of their limited vocabularies and grasp of grammar. I also love the unexpected beauty of things people say: overheard at bus stops, mispelled in emails, and elsewhere. I only have a few moments, so thought I would lend you a few bits of literary beauty from my reading day:

A typo in a work in progress, which is strangely appealing uncorrected:

I must complete the feast, while you and Tiresias get aquatinted.

A line in a friend’s email:

Hope you get the laundry sorted out. I just put away a whole basket of washing before I realised I was putting away the dirty washing instead of the clean washing.

A reported piece of dialogue:

Father to his daughter, while driving home: What are you doing?
Daughter, grinning beatifically and intently out the car window: Smiling at the trees.

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