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2002-06-06 3:57 p.m.

Language is funny in its shortcomings—it can be so precise, yet also so vague. Consider the following sentence:

I am going to punch you in the penis.

Some people may think that this sentence describes which part of the person will receive the punching. But, there is no rule that says this is the only way to interpret this sentence. Personally, I prefer to read it as an account of where I plan to be when I punch you; it provides an answer to the question, "Where will I be located during the act of punching?" Duh. In the penis!

The more I think about this, the more I must admit the shortcomings of language are also its strengths. Language's quirky behaviors make me feel the same way about it as I always felt about the underdog awkward, lanky girl with red hair and freckles—something in between a sheepish crush and a wild awe–filled admiration for such awesome, awkward beauty.



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