Tree Wool

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Today, I learned that the German word for cotton is Baumwolle, literally “tree-wool.”  The Germans have a very no-nonsense approach to creating new vocabulary and this is one of the things I love about the German language.  The language is peppered with compound words consisting of 3-4 other words, which seem overwhelming at first, but once you break them down, the words make perfect sense.  Not only are the new words made up of words you already know, but the new words describe exactly what they mean.  It’s made me wonder if other things in life could be seen that way.  It’s like the riddle: “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  When we look at the big rocks and focus on those, then we don’t get distracted and confused by the mush of everything coming at us all at once.  If you look at what’s important and take it one piece at a time, it becomes beautiful in its simplicity.  If you take the no-nonsense approach to life, you can see that the world is really quite simple.  You just have to know how to look for what matters.

J

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