Have You Herd?

I’m not sure how it started but the other day when I was talking with God, she got off onto something of a tangent about coincidences of the English language.

She explained to me that some of the things that seem to be just accidents of history, of the way the language evolved really have a deeper meaning and connection that just isn’t apparent. As an example she said that our tribalism sometimes manifests itself in strange ways. She pointed out the two words “heard” and “herd.” She told me that there’s a reason they’re homonyms. It boils down to asking someone if they’ve heard the latest about something. It seems that that turn of phrase is a sign of our being social animals, we want to be part of a herd so we try to establish who has “heard” the same things. Likewise, when we want someone to be part of our herd, or for us to be part of theirs, we want them to have heard the same things that we have.

Then she went on to explain that the reason we “pack” a lunch is because we want to eat our lunches in packs. Like a pack of wolves that have just hunted down a caribou.

About that time I started to suspect that she was just putting me on.

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