Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

Apparently, Ohio State University is trademarking the word THE. This is apparently because they don’t want to be confused with another Ohio State University, so they have to be THE Ohio State. And also, why the hell not, they want to own one of the fundamental words in the English language. What does this mean for you? Are you no longer THE Rachel, writing for THE Durango Telegraph? Must we all redact our language, or stop referring to specific nouns?

– I Ask of Thee

Dear A/An/Thou,

There’s no way their trademark claim will go through. “The” should be reserved for ominous or monolithic entities, like The Terminator, or me. When your mascot is a mildly toxic nut, you’re far from ominous. Also, this is the perfect time for the rest of us to reclaim a word that, frankly, we take for granted. Wouldn’t everything feel a little more special if it was THE one and only? Try it. Introduce your friends as THE, and see if they don’t pick up a little swagger.

– The one, the only, The Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Have you ever noticed how human existence is just a series of moving things from one place to another? We dig up dirt and put it somewhere else. We cut down trees to drive lumber from one place to another. On my commute, I pass people who live where I work, and who are driving to work where I live. Yet, we’re not actually moving the earth at all. I’m starting to think all our activities are futile, and life completely meaningless.

– Shuffling on this Mortal Coil

Dear Schlepper,

Ah, but you are missing the point. The joy is in the action of doing the moving. Life has purpose because we give it purpose! At least that’s what I read on a cup of chamomile once. Personally, I’m with you. No more moving things! Let’s rise against the corporations who are probably the ones making us think we have to spend our life transporting things to give ourselves meaning! But only if I don’t have to go anywhere to do it.

– Stay, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Can you tell me if dog spit has healing properties or not? Maybe this is one of those old tall tales I heard growing up. My dad always said to let the dog lick my scratches to help them heal. I just trusted it, and still let my dog lick every little wound I get. But I’m starting to think about this, and about what else dogs lick. Maybe I don’t want that spit in my mountain bike souvenirs. What do you think?

– Not Dead Yet

Dear Lick of Sense,

I’ve just received word that I cannot, in fact, use the word “the” anymore outside its trademarked context. So here goes. When dog licks wounds, spit gets into sore and mostly your immune system fights it off, probably. But that’s not always case. I’m trying to think of last time I saw a dog with wounds that wouldn’t heal, and I can’t. They always seem to heal just fine. So maybe problem is drug companies, doing research at THE university, who want you to give up natural healing.

– Follow money, Rachel

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