Saturday, May 2, 2009

Stealing Words

At 6:30 this morning, while driving to meet Marc and V for a run, I suddenly realized that this headline does indeed make sense.

"Cow-napping" is a play on words with "kidnapping," whereas I'd initially gotten confused with with the verb "nab/nabbing." So I did a little etymological research and found out that in "kidnap," "nap" is a variant of "nab." And that "napper" is an obsolete word for a thief.

I love that anyone can kidnap a word in this language, change its spelling and tweak its meaning, and then return it back to its rightful owners, we the speakers--no ransom paid--in a form that is different but still safe and sound.

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