Saturday, April 17, 2021

Linguistic tidbit

Some linguists obsessed with a theory of all
forget there are others who need to think small,
of how to inflect a verb that's perfective
or reasons why 'so' isn't just a connective.

And others might glean an elaborate fact
from language in use as a societal act
with agents whose motives are far from mundane
but an essence of self quite hard to contain.

There's meaning and purpose in digging quite deep
at cognates in history whose meaning we keep,
And time to get lost in the tangle of weeds,
a morphological context and the pattern it feeds.

And many a language, pattern, and word
hold secrets and histories that we've never heard
Of just how a people connect with the past
or just how a pattern changes so fast.

So before you admonish the detail-obsessed
those whose minutiae is seldomly blessed
with an appearance in Nature or Science and so
appears to be findings you don't need to know.

An ego obese with a theory so tangled
Can deflate in an instant when new data is wrangled.
Consider that details, however so small
are the basis of asking the biggest questions of all.

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