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touch of painted curls
1st-Nov-2004 11:17 am
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'

`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master -- that's all.'

Alice was too much puzzled to say anything; so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. `They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs: they're the proudest -- adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs -- however, I can manage the whole lot of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!'

`Would you tell me please,' said Alice, `what that means?'

`Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. `I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.'

`That's a great deal to make one word mean,' Alice said in a thoughtful tone.

`When I make a word do a lot of work like that,' said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.'

`Oh!' said Alice. She was too much puzzled to make any other remark.

`Ah, you should see 'em come round me of a Saturday night,' Humpty Dumpty went on, wagging his head gravely from side to side, `for to get their wages, you know.'

(Alice didn't venture to ask what he paid them with; and so you see I can't tell you.)

. . .

"It wouldn't look nice," Alice objected. But Humpty Dumpty only shut his eyes, and said "Wait till you've tried."

~Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
1st-Nov-2004 11:20 pm (UTC)
I absolutely must read that book. So many wonderful quotes. :) *huggle*
2nd-Nov-2004 12:54 am (UTC)
It's a book that absolutely everybody absolutely must read. Preferably with the tenniel illustrations. ^_^
2nd-Nov-2004 02:46 am (UTC)
Of course. Illustrations are always wonderful. ^_^ I look forward to cozying up with the book soon.
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