I have been thinking about the human language recently, thanks to your pointing out that it is an absolute disaster. I was naming words that were the same, but not the same, and yet the same… then my brain needed a nap from all the circles it was turning in. When I woke up I realized that we have a fruit called grape and another called grapefruit. What is going on here?!
Gobsmacked Grape Girl
Dear Gobsmacked Grape Girl,
I’m actually delighted to know that I am not the only one whose brain is twisted into the shape of a pretzel by the language of such an intelligent species. I find that it’s usually the best to make a list of the similarities of the items who share a word, in the hopes that it will explain why they were assigned the same moniker.
Grapes are fruit. Grapefruits are fruit.
Grapes are round. Grapefruits are round.
Well, that was quick.
Let’s work on the differences between these items, maybe that will shed light on the mystery.
Grapes are small. Grapefruits are large.
Grapes are red or green. Grapefruits are orange and pink.
Grapes are a berry. Grapefruits are a citrus.
Grapes grow on a vine. Grapefruits grow on a tree.
Grapes can be soured…
Behold! I think we found the answer!
Picture this scenario. Two humans are wandering around one day (because Netflix didn’t exist) when they stumble across a field of fruits. They start working their way through them, calling out names as they go. They eventually stumble across the grape. The humans begin to wonder, how can we make this fruit better? Sure, eating a grape is fun, but there must be a better way.
I know! Let’s sour them.
We all know what came next. The humans spent the rest of the week in a drunken stupor courtesy of a new super beverage made from sour grapes. They were unable to recall what words were already assigned to which fruit, leading to two inadvertently being called grape. Once sober, the humans had to find a way to cover for their mistake, so they quickly tossed the word fruit onto the end of one.
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