Jan. 31, 2019

Sentence 031 Let the cat out of the bag.

031 In Old English, ’wifman’ is a variant of ’woman’.

031 John is training to be a manager.

031 Man Friday rarely spoke but he understood a lot.

031 One reading of ’woman’ is ’womb man’.

031 One small step for Man, a big leap for Mankind.

031 The police sealed every manhole in the Main Street.

031 The problem is that my man drinks a lot.

031 We went to the Irish Pub and ordered a Ploughman’s Lunch for all.

Leslie: Almost all of these Sentences contain the word ’man’ or a derivative of ’man’. Do you want to help me in finding them?

Stephen: Sure. Can we start with the Sentence ’In Old English, ’wifman’ is a variant of ’woman.’’? Ladies first.

L: It is a very interesting Sentence because is shows that ’man’ originally meant ’a human being’.

It is even clearer in another Sentence: ’One reading of ’woman’ is ’womb man’.’ We can read it as ’a woman with a womb’.

S: Then ’wifman’ must mean a ’wife man’ or ’married woman’.

L: That’s right. What is next on your list?

S: If we stay with the original, very general meaning, my next Sentence comes from the Moonwalk: ’One small step for Man, a big leap for Mankind.’ It is really about all Human Beings.

L: Right. Can we find the opposite in other Sentences?

S: My favourite is ’Man Friday rarely spoke but he understood a lot.’ It is really about a ’man’, a ’male human being’.

And here comes another one: ’My problem is that my man drinks a lot.’ Most probably, ’man’ stands here to mean ’husband’.

L: I couldn’t agree more. There are some Sentences here in which the word ’man’ doesn’t really mean ’a male human being’. Can you find them?

S: Easy. We have pinpointed them already. My favourite is ’The police sealed every manhole int he Main Street.’

I guess it is not really about a ’man’ and his body-holes.

L: You are right. A ’manhole’ is the metal cover of the drain in the road.

S: And the other one is: ’We went to the Irish Pub and ordered Ploughman’s Lunch for all.’

I cannot really make head or tail of it but I guess it is not a sandwich for cannibals.

L: You are right again here. ’Ploghmen’ were agricultural workers who tilled the land and ’Ploughman’s Lunch’ is a typical sandwich you can get in an English or Irish pub.

It is bread and butter, with pickles and a slice of fine cheese on top.

S: The last Sentence is ’John is training to be a manager.’

It seems to be easy. However, I have never met a ’womanager’. A ’manager with a womb’.

L: I think you are wrong here. This is the Odd-man-out. ’Manager’ is not about ’man’ and it doesn’t come from English.

It comes from Italian and Latin and ’manus’ means ’hand’.