[LMB] OT: How Did You Learn to Read?

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 18 00:50:08 BST 2017

From: John Lennard

Then again, lots of words are much more polysemic than one supposes. Ben

Jonson has a poem that begins "Some act of love's bound to rehearse", and

when I looked up 'bound' I decided about 23 of the listed senses were


Micki: I help teach English as a foreign language, and yesterday, we wound up 
working with about three different "s" -- plural s, apostrophe s indicating 
possession, and third-person s after verbs. It's astonishing that the kids can 
absorb all of that! We didn't even talk about apostrophe s indicating missing 
letters yesterday. 

(Example sentence: Riri's friend likes cats. It was a rare child who 
got every "s" right, but this is their first year of formal English study.)

Anyway, with that background, I read the phrase as "love is bound" which has 
about three meanings off the top of my head. (determined, going that way, tied 
up) But when I read it as "bound of love" then my head exploded. The rhythm is 
different when you read bound as a verb rather than a noun, and I think the verb-
form sounds more rhythmical, but the sense is less beautiful in my eyes. 

Jonson was one of those guys who liked to mess with the reader's head, wasn't he? 
Spoken, I'm sure a few of the meanings become clearer, but written -- oh wow man. 
Like a kaleidoscope. 


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