• D.S.M.I.E.

What is a word?

Words are the labels we give objects, experiences, and the connections between the objects and experiences we encounter. If we expect to know a word, we need to know the life behind the word. Gibberish is a word without any life. Thingamajig is the name we give to an object because the real name is forgotten, yet when we say thingamajig there is something in the world that it belongs to.

The first verse of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carol is an example of what some imagine gibberish to be. Yet this is not gibberish. It's a language genius at work. Can you understand the gist of this verse without looking-up the words?

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves       

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,       

And the mome raths outgrabe.

The key to understanding the verse is knowing how to think about grammar.

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