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A SHORT LESSON IN LINGUISTICS

July 12, 2014

There once lived, during the Medieval Ages, an illustrious scientist and inventor who, after much thought, came to the conclusion that there were far too many stars and planets in the sky and that the heavens would look much better with a lot less of them. And so he applied his mechanical talents to the construction of a special gun that could be used to shoot down those celestial objects that irritated his aesthetic sense.

As an added bonus, when the shot stars and planets landed on Earth, he would dissect them and analyse closely their inner structure in his laboratory, thus gaining in the process invaluable knowledge that advanced greatly the field of astronomy. Once finished with his investigations, he would file them carefully, like precious stamps or coins, into his special astral album.

And that’s how the phrase “shooting stars” originated. Initially this phrase referred to the actual deed of gunning down stars. But, over time, its meaning shifted to refer to those stars that have been shot down.

Even to the present day, we continue to see stars falling from the sky, for they are the ones that have finally succumbed to the wounds inflicted by the astronomer’s gun hundreds of years ago.

 

Vladimir Kush

 

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9 Comments
  1. Love it and laughing!

  2. This is awesome. It reads just like a prehistoric fable of a primitive people, like an origin story, not of the phrase so much as the phenomenon itself. Just lovely! Thanks for playing!

  3. Did the scientist ever get hot?

    • the ardour of his scientific curiosity was stronger than any other heat source.

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