Mason County News
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010 • Posted September 8, 2010

For a hunter there’s the gun.

For a chef there’s food.

For a musician, an instrument.

For a mechanic, a motor.

For a teacher there’s the student.

For a student, the teacher.

For a reader, there are books.

For a writer, there are words.

Lots and lots of words.


As magical as mathematics.

And as endless.

And that’s just English.

Other languages can be equally fascinating.

For instance, Moken.

As spoken by the Mokens, a nomadic, sea-based people in southern Thailand and southern Burma.

The Mokens have no word for "hello."

Nor for "goodbye."

Which means the Mokens view time and space and relationships quite differently than English-speaking people do.

Just think.

No greetings coming or going.

You show up.

You leave.

It’s all good.

No explanations.

No apologies for being late.

No sadness at parting.

Like the wind.

You’re there.

You’re not there.

Seems a lot less stressful.

And on that note, three words NOT in the Moken language are:




They have no words to describe these three things because they don’t exist.

Not in their world.

Talk about less stress.

Each one of those words on its own can cause a nervous breakdown.

Or discord.

Or divorce.

All three together pack a mighty punch, too.

We WANT something WHEN we want it and we WORRY till we get it.

Ulcers, rashes, and insomnia come to mind.

Bet the Mokens don’t have words for those either.

In closing, I’ll leave you with the English words of that great American philosopher, Alfred E. Neuman:

"What? Me worry?"

That’s Mason.

Renee Walker is an author, poet, and real estate broker on the square.

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