Beds. We can’t help but make an impression on them. Like a child’s finger-painting, the chalk outline around a corpse on the pavement, they retain an image of us. Think of all they contain – skin, sweat, semen, blood, all the puke and spume of life. Beds are fossil records of our lives… No wonder they’re a mess! After all, so much happens there. We begin and end in beds. (James Geary, Ode Magazine, Vol. 6, Issue 9, November 2008, p.74)
When I have a student who is procrastinating with “why on earth would I have to learn to write properly?”, I try to explain the absolute power of words. I try to show them how “scared” means one thing, while “petrified” means another. I try to show them how “mother” is not just the person who hassles them about homework and healthy food, but is a concept which is part of the larger picture of family, and continuation of the human race, etc.
I’ve never though about showing my students the word, “bed”.
It’s pretty rare I find a fellow wordsmith who is equally floored by language. It seems most people are not stunned into a catatonic state by all the implications of a word.
Long live catatonia!