Gloss, Is / Teaching / Scholarship / Glossary /
Definitions, Ironies, Semantic Whirligigs, Wisecracks …


Watch out for words attributing essence or identity to something. English Prime selects “is” for its prime synecdoche.

The little word is has its tragedies; it marries and identifies different things with the greatest innocence; and yet no two are ever identical, and if therein lies the charm of wedding them and calling them one, therein too lies the danger. Whenever I use the word is, except in sheer tautology, I deeply misuse it; and when I discover my error, the world seems to fall asunder and the members of my family no longer know one another.

George Santayana

(God, I love Santayana! How come I haven’t read more of him?)

Aristotle, Plato, Aquinas … routinely misled themselves by their grammar. Until, if ever, if possible, a rational language is forged — and all then achieve competence in it, sentient (ahem) Homo sapiens is simply stuck.

Try a search on English Prime at, at …

Glossary Menu

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
This entry was posted in Glossary and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s