No better day to start my new weekly language post, which I’m calling “Word Wednesday” (and which is really just going to be a place for me and other like-minded folks (students, teachers, writers, everyone and anyone basically) to riff about words and sentences with currency in the arts, culture, and politics) than on the day that that great poet Yogi Berra passed away. Not only did I grow up with him as the namesake of my favorite cartoon character, but I used his last name for the ghoulish protagonist in my first short story, written in 3rd grade for Mrs. Roach, called “Gravedigger Blues.” (His name was “Paul Berra.” Clever, right?)
To kick off #wordwednesday, I’m going to share my favorite Yogi-Berra-ism that Yogi Berra never ism-ed. Rather, it was said by an old Italian guy whom I worked with one summer when I was roofing my way through school and toward melanoma-ed shoulders who once said the following to me when I came back from doing the lunch run with the wrong sandwich: “Hey, kid, that just goes to show: You can lead a gift horse to water, but you can’t look in its mouth.” I think Mr. Berra would have approved. If there’s a heaven for those guys, I hope they’re being introduced to each other as I type these words.
If anyone has any other Yogi-Berra-isms to share for #wordwednesday, whether uttered by Mr. Berra or not, please share the word wealth.
Enroll in my grammar course at The New School in NYC, called Tools, Not Rules.