Thursday, August 15, 2013

To Be or Not To Be....

August 17 is national "is" day. Ironically, today I was looking for a blog topic and I keyed in the phrase "to be" in google. I was hoping to find something meaningful and, you know, "deep" as in "I think; therefore I am" or "I thought; therefore I was" - No, that was yesterday, so it should really be, "I will think; therefore I will be," for Saturday - you know, the day we will all celebrate the "is" day!!

The site Zany Holidays describes "Is" day as follows:

What is the meaning of is? You can't even ask the question without using the word, so it's pretty hard to define. It's the third person singular form of the word "be," which is also hard to define without going into existential mumbo jumbo. Spend today trying to define is in your words without using the word be. It's actually sort of a challenge.

Actually, I used to use the Zany Holidays site a lot until they weren't anymore in 2011 and 2012. Well, it seems that they have done this future thing too and decided that they will be again in 2013 with 7 post. Begs the questions, "Doth 7 posts an existence make?"

"is" day party - "be" there :)

Anyway, as I was researching existence or the state of "being" on google - this might be the ultimate existential state, as in, "I found myself in a search engine" - I came across lots of grammar sites that gave you the complete break down of all the tense forms of the verb "to be." Very intense!! It is, of course, an irregular verb - aren't we all. Here is the most detailed of the sites:

http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/to_be.htm

I loved their description of the verb "to be" -

The Greek sea god, Proteus, was (like the sea) capable of changing form in an instant. In order to get any decent information out of him, you had to grab him and hold on tight while he went through his various forms — lion, wild boar, snake, tree, running stream — it wasn't easy. The verb “To be” is said to be the most protean of the English language, constantly changing form, sometimes without much of a discernible pattern. Considering that we use it so often, it is really too bad that the verb “To be” has to be the most irregular, slippery verb in the language.


Certainly I can't finish a post on existence without the famous statement from George Berkeley - "To be is to be perceived." So in on-line terms do you really exist if no one knows you are there? Sacré mot!! I knew that there was a reason for all this blogging - I write; therefore I am, in every imperfect, conditional and passive state there is :)

Have a wonderful day!!

5 comments:

  1. So many people ponder on that question "to be or not to be" that they fail to act in the moment- failing the "is" question.

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  2. I is whether I write, wrote, will write. I is whether you see me or not. I is whether I am alive or dead. I won't say I Am because that belongs to someone greater than I is.

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  3. Most of this is too deep for me. Maybe later after some beers it will make sense?

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  4. I like the term "slippery verb", which seems to describe such a word as "is". Even if no one sees a blog post, it's presence still "is" there.

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  5. For me, being is about living and hence doing things. I am deep today...

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