Po Boy Views
The Brighter Side?
Spring Hopes Eternal
Ever alert (and lord knows we can use more lerts) to improving my use of the English language, I came across the news that truth is an abstract noun. What is an abstract noun? An abstract noun is a concept, something intangible that exists only in our mind.
Truth as an abstract noun is also corralled with words like love, justice and beauty. I ask you, can it be more disturbing for any of us to find out that the nouns of the things we hold dear are just lower case concepts? I take it that you are not surprised and hopefully not amused that all things that we associate with passion are considered in the language that we use to be perceptions that exist only in our minds.
Could it be that passion is also an abstract noun? I would respectfully request that you be outraged. The information that I culled also informed me that fun, courage and jazz were in themselves abstract nouns as well. The last three I can see, but truth? Well, I guess so; for what is truth but an interpretation of our opinions based on perceived evidence? Or not.
In my New Orleans we regularly butcher our language as do most Americans, but we do not abstract love, passion, fun, beauty or Jazz.
Take my monthly ramblings for example….please. . I talk about love and I talk about beauty much too infrequently for my conscious mind; and, I talk about truth and the meaning of life.
What is life but a series of questions as to the meaning of our existence and the value of our actions except possibly the laying of our heads down on the bar and waiting for someone to shake us awake, take us home and tuck us in? How dare they tell me that truth like beauty is in the eye of the beholder! No wonder the world is in the condition that it is! Next they’ll tell me that life is an abstract noun. How about the truth on how all those abstract nouns, from my perspective, have roots in the action of nurturing? Does that make the word nurture into an abstract verb? All of us need nurturing and there is far too little of it going around, unfortunately and far too often we wouldn’t know how to accept a nurturing gesture if one hit us over the head. Is that what makes it abstract? Does the English language purposely want to undermine basic concepts of basic human needs? Am I being punked?
In my articles for Where Y’at magazine, I wade through the English language like Sherman through Georgia, taking no prisoners, accepting no parameters. Pretty much I know of two people that read my thousand word forays into the use and misuse of our noble tongue, but that’s neither here nor there. I use metaphors, I am an alliteration ass and at the slightest provocation I dangle my participle like Merv the Perv at a schoolyard fence.
As a writer I have to beware of dangling participles, as well as misplaced modifiers and ambiguous pronouns. Sentence fragments may……
It’s all Jabberwocky to me my friend. Any lack of parallel structure can and will result in a possible dangling of our fragments while we misplace our pronouns to the chagrin of our ambiguous participles resulting in the dastardly and devastating rambling run-on sentence quoting: “beware the Jabberwock my boy, the jaws that bite the teeth that catch; beware the Jubjub bird and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!”
Another mind boggler is the copulative verb. My definition of a copulative verb would be an idiomatic preposition at best; mostly I use copulative verbs as expletives or idiotic propositions in vague terminology to unsuspecting intellects. Jabberwocky.
You may ask yourself if abstractions began in our early evolution? Riddle me this: do we primarily as primates, after bonding together in tribes and families, turn inward with an ancient ape question like: “what’s in it for me?” Then do we wonder, like our tree relatives: “why does that one get the best fruit, why does he have a brighter butt than I do, or, do I really have to eat all the fleas that I pick off?” Talk about abstracts.
It follows then, if you’ve been following me at all, that a great defense of any of our behaviors can now be chalked up to abstract nouns, and not evidence, alibis or excuses. Ah, and now we get into the realm of existential existence. New Orleanian verses New Orwellian. God, crime, hate, sex, drugs and Rock n’ Roll: do you consider them Abstract? Are levees abstract? How about my monthly expenses, my bills, my groceries? How about the economy, politics or law? It seems like the School of Absurdism to me, to dismiss my relativity to my world and I’m having none of it. Abstraction is for artists and not for men.
I have friends that have left the insecurity and abstractness of fair urban areas to go live a closer to the land and spirit existence. They have less money and simpler needs. High points can be the setting of the sun, the ripeness of peaches or the putting up of firewood. Perhaps even the drawing of water for bath or laundry.
These are types of people that don’t accept the abstract in their lives. Dancing in the moonlight and the rain, sunrise tea ceremonies and making love in the garden are celebrations of life that do not seem abstract to them. Healing of natural maladies are done in accordance with natural remedies. I have one friend that gets up in the morning, takes a handful of the earth and rubs it on her cheeks lest she forget where she came from and where she is going.
All the rationale for the comforts of technology and convenience are lost on these, the truest of my friends. Our relationships are not clouded in what we have to offer eachother other than the sharing of our hearts and minds.
Truth, beauty, courage, fun and love. I put it to you, real or abstract?