Idiom a deus is dos

Published by Tony Quinlan on

In the current climate, the title of this post seems to be increasingly appropriate.

Or it would, if it weren't utter nonsense. It's a fabulous example of people interpreting someone else's words and viewpoint. In this case, someone has entered into an online database the lyrics to a song – in this case, by the Cocteau Twins, a UK band in the 80s and 90s. While some of their material had lyrics, much of it didn't – Liz Fraser used her fabulous voice as an instrument. So sometimes she's just making sounds, not singing intelligible words. That didn't stop someone, however:

Ik does a dashik dozen
Ik does alone cheyenne
Mad at them who tease him scrawling

And I knew deeper darlin
Idiom a deus is dos
Indeared look he loves it
Your elan new sub dearie

The difficulty sets in when we use experts to tell us what was meant by what someone said, or symbols they use, or stories they tell. Sometimes they get it right, but sometimes they're so busy trying to make sense of it, they miss that there was no sense in the first place, just a general feeling. And of course, they can only ever get it to make sense in their frame of reference, their worldview. If it comes from a culture radically different, they will have to either ignore it or distort it to make it fit their culture.

Actually, maybe the idea of reading meaning where there is none is pretty appropriate in the current climate after all…