The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

10/14 amos

 

October 13, 2005



Editor’s note: In response to a reader’s request, Amos has asked that we reprint a favorite “wordy” column. Amos is a churchmouse, unable to use the keyboard shift keys and unschooled in the art of punctuation.

amos plays word games

boss while i was rummaging

through some old — really

old — newspaper clips

the other day i found

an interesting article

from the first of

february in 1912

it was from the clovis

evening journal and the

article was headlined -

puzzling -

here s the way the story

went boss -

a duel recently fought was

described in the following

curious manner

it was fought between

alexander shott and

john s nott

nott was shot and shott

was not

there was a rumor flying

about to the effect that

nott was not shot yet shott

avows that he shot nott

which proves either that

the shot at nott was not shot

or that nott was shot

notwithstanding

circumstantial evidence

being not always reliable

it may appear on trial that

the shot shott shot — comma

here boss — shot nott

or as accidents with firearms

are not infrequent it may be

that the shot shott shot -

comma here boss — shot

shott himself

if so shott would be shot

and nott would be not

taking the matter all

around — the newspaper

writer said — one is puzzled

to know who was shot and

who was not

boss i m not sure what the

moral of this story is —

whether it s that parents

need to be careful how they

name their children or that

people need to be careful

not to shoot other people

with silly names or that

silly journalists need to

stop playing weird word

games

journalists in a more modern

era have also played on words -

at times not so deliberately -

such as a headline in 1995

that read — jones amendment

would give state fish voting

rights -

or how about the 1995 los

angeles times headline that

stated — hillary clinton on

welfare -

or the 1995 chicago tribune

headline that proclaimed -

chemotherapy fears increase

after death -

then of course there is that

famous wordsmith of baseball

fame — yogi berra — who once

was reported as saying —

the future ain t what it

used to be —

i m not sure boss but i

suspect he may be right

he and several others i

have known through the

course of my mousy

writing career

certainly have a way

with words

in light of that boss

i m reminded that the

bible seems to indicate

that how we handle our

way with words can also

affect our way of life

may it ever be for the

better boss

amos

 

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