Daughter C. and Miss M. got into it today. Fur was flying! There was cussin’! They were throwing books at each other left & right. They pleaded with me to referee.
At issue were the definitions of the words, “farther” and “further.”
It was ugly and it got uglier when– after I’d gotten out my
crappy old 1892 Noah Webster Dictionary– I pulled out my brand spankin’ new version of Elements of Style.
|Page 153: The Copyright Page; Click to see the actual history of this volume.|
Daughter C. and Miss M. were fooled by the 2005 version of this
crappy old book into thinking it was a brand spankin’ new book. But I digress.
And then, as arguments among and between The Girls often do, the argument took a turn and they were off arguing about the Vices and Virtues of Old English versus Middle English. (It’s all about etiology, don’t you know?)
When the dust had settled, I gave them their assignment for the day. No one looked happy– I think they thought it was a holiday or something. But when I told them what it was, they perked up. Read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”
Did you know that MLK “was christened Michael Luther by his father who later changed both their names in honor of the great Protestant reformer” (Webster’s American Biographies, Charles Van Doren, editor, 1979, G. & C. Merriam Company, Springfield, Massachusetts).
(Just wait until I suggest they read Civil Disobedience! It‘ll be like
Hippies & Gypsies & Cowboys Americans agreein’.)
I’m not sure, but I infer that the squabble began when Daughter C. was crafting a gift for Mr. Big Food and I.
|Farther along we’ll know more about it,|
Farther along we’ll understand why;
Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,
We’ll understand it all by and by.