Saturday, March 18, 2006

The vexata quaestios of the presumably undemanding game of shuttlecock

Some people have the habit of using the Thesaurus extensively. In an attempt to show mastery over the language, they indiscriminately right-click on words, navigate to the list of synonyms and replace. Or for the old world paper and pen writers, there is always Roget's Thesaurus or Chambers Thesaurus to look up. This could actually be beneficial if only the writers bother to check the meanings of the words they use, and make sure they fit the context, but ever so often this is not the case, and the random replacement ruins the flow of the article. The synonyms sometimes stick out like a sore thumb!!

To explain more vividly, a lot of times it is a transition from the Thesaurus to the writing, without entering the writer's brain.

Just to have a little fun, I did a small exercise today. I wrote a simple piece, and blindly replaced some of the words with synonyms. Mind you, I removed and set my brain aside when I wrote this, and my only purpose, if any, was to complicate affairs.

Check out the wierd outcome...

"Armed with our racquets and a tattered shuttlecock, the neighborhood girls and myself, flock every evening, jocund, jolly and yearning to play a perfect game of shuttlecock. After the painstaking ritual of forming teams, which involves a lot of self-assertion, self-assurance, self-confidence, self-control, self-denial, self-glorification, self-possession, self-propulsion, self-reliance, self-righteousness, self-sacrifice, self-satisfaction and self-will, we indulge in the process of deciding which team will play on which side of the gate (yes, that serves as the net.) This being no less meticulous, we return to the game ashen.

Now arises 'The Great Peace Disruption Affair' revolving around the predicament of who gets to deliver the first service. Ultimately, after total disruption of camaraderie, we begin the game.

The shuttlecock rises into the air - up, up, up, up, up and away. Of all the preposterous, fatuous, imbecilic, unthinkable rabble rousers on earth, it's the wind this time, which, being inordinately prejudiced against us, blows in a direction perfectly perpendicular to the direction of motion of our shuttlecock (measured with apparatus without zero error, and conditions of 0% error due to defective measurement.)

By this time, the few bona fide Gurus of the seemingly simple game of shuttlecock leave due to emergencies such as attending their music or dance classes, studying for the next day's examination or for continuing their beauty siesta.

The rest of us amateurs (phrasing it pretty decently) ponder over the fate of our ambiguous game. By the time we resolve our problems and resume the game, it is either too dark to play, or our one and only shuttlecock is run over by a 1940 model vintage car."

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