Puzzling words

Why is it when you milk a cow, you take milk from her, but if you water a cow, you give water to her?

Why is it if we want to go in haste, we hasten, so if we want to go fast, why don’t we fasten?

Californians who move to South Dakota but don’t want to acclimate, continue to say “coyotee” instead of coyote? Do they think they are more educated, is that why they won’t change? Or do they stand their ground on coyote because they think the mispronunciation of Pierre (Peer) our state capitol is already too much?

When you stop in a parking lot, do you drive up to the little line that divides one space from another and stop, as if there is a concrete barrier instead of a painted line? Or have you realized that if you pull forward another car length, you will not have to back out of your parking place after you have finished your errand? You can just drive forward instead. It’s easier on your neck and much safer because it’s easier to see where you are going.

How can flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

Why are the Dakotas spoken of as one entity, especially on national weather forecasts? After all the two states encompass nearly 148,000 square miles so undoubtedly the weather systems don’t envelope both states at the same time.

Why is the word “cowboy” a pejorative when it describes anyone who does not ride a horse?

How can someone, “show up missing?” Or the one we hear so commonly anymore, “He went missing,” as though it were a destination. No, he disappeared would be the word to use.

Most people stand in line, although some have stood, “on line,” which, in this Internet age, has a whole new meaning.

Does something happen “on accident” or “by accident?”

You are a pedestrian preparing to cross a street. You are at a traffic light where there are no “Walk,” “Don’t Walk” signs. Do you watch to see when the light is green and go WITH that traffic? Or, do you look for the red light stopping the cars on the street where you will walk?

How can forest service or other government owned land, be labeled, “Foot traffic only beyond this point,” and yet be called, “Accessible to the Public?” With all of the federal laws regarding equal access, how can these lands not be accessible to those who have difficulty walking due to various and sundry conditions?

If you are well known you are famous, if you are extremely well known you are renowned. But if you are famous because you are in trouble, you are then infamous.

And finally I ask why is it when a woman rides a horse, chases cattle and does an outstanding job, the men who saw it all, comment, “Good horse.”?

– Sanders writes from the family farm in southwestern South Dakota.

Peggy Sanders


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