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  • Brian Lehman


Updated: Oct 1, 2020

Welcome blog readers! Many of my posts are going to be random but strangely profound musings on the use of language and the oddities of English, and this is one of those posts. So what leaked out of my brain today concerns the word trip. You might wonder if that could actually be the topic of a blog post. The answer is Yup!

You can be on a very short trip as in, "He just left on a trip to the bookstore to pick up the copy of War Paint he ordered, but he'll be right back." Or it can be a much longer journey as in, "She just embarked on a three-week backpacking trip in Mongolia where she will likely be detained and interrogated by the authorities for possibly being a spy." So the word trip can describe a quick visit to the store or a longer trek that could end up involving prison time.

But you can also trip over something and bump your head, which could result in a concussion and causing you to behave strangely, like in you wanting to over analyze simple words. Or you could stumble and break your elbow, causing you to make a trip to the ER and spending the next seven hours surrounded by people who are coughing, sneezing and retching, exposing you to a variety of diseases including COVID-19.

People have also been known to go on a trip after ingesting certain drugs or maybe mushrooms. Ironically, in that kind of trip you don't necessarily physically travel anywhere. You could also trip a switch, which could be turning in on, as in "The burglar tripped the alarm when he broke the window." Or it could be turning something off, as in "Plugging in the electric blanket to keep his pet alpaca warm tripped the circuit breaker and everything went dark."

It's even possible to trip someone up with a difficult or unexpected question. For instance, if one of your three kids asks you, "Which one of us is your favorite?" Or even worse, "What is the capital of Mongolia?"

So, I assume this is likely the most information your brain has ever bothered to take in all at once about the word trip. i think you would agree that the complexity of such a seemingly simple concept is kind of trippy.

Brain Matter from Brian

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