They're tricky little brutes, these words we use.
Words can bediddle you; they can confuse.
You’re hardly fasting if you eat ‘fast food’;
You’ll not be moody when you’re ‘in the mood’.
Some men wear ‘shorts’ that are in fact quite long;
Politically, ‘the right’ is often wrong;
Some fairground practices are most unfair;
And there are ‘care homes’ where they just don’t care.
But let’s go deeper – for some words today
Mean quite the opposite of what they say.
In ‘rush hour’ no-one rushes; it’s when all
The traffic slows down to a sluggish crawl.
When workers take ‘industrial action’
They do no work - that's actually inaction.
Then, should you hear ‘they’ve slept together’, take
It that they’ve been extremely wide awake,
(At their most conscious as they find employment
In actions fostering open-eyed enjoyment).
And when a city street is shaken from
Normality by a terrorist with a bomb,
Some group soon ‘claims responsibility’ –
That means they’ve acted irresponsibly.
But do ‘Conservatives’ conserve? Sez who?
They’re scarring Britain with the HS2.
These days a ‘Liberal’ might be one who’ll be
Illiberal if you do not think as he,
Whilst Labour ‘anti-racists' may well choose
To tweet unpleasantly about ‘the Jews’...
And on, and on. Words tease; they twist; they turn;
Let's never trust the beasties. Live and learn.
If you have any thoughts on this poem, George Simmers would
be pleased to hear them.