Opinion

Please let us know when you find ‘they’

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By Rudi Alcott, Mirror publisher

Who are “they?”

You have always heard about them. They say you should wait 30 minutes before swimming after you eat. They say mother knows best. They say I-5 is always congested, but I have never met anyone named they.

I know a number of hes and shes, hers and hims, and probably even an it or two, but I have never met a they.

So I decided to find out. I figured the mall was a good place to start.

One young lady behind the counter wasn’t sure, but directed me toward Sears. She said she thought there was a tool Sears sold called a they.

Remind me not to ask her advice on my next flat-screen TV purchase.

Anyway, I looked high and low, left and right and still couldn’t find a they. I returned to my office and figured Google would know. After all, there is a Web site for just about everything.

Well, definitely everything if you are looking for porn — not that I would know.

There was a movie made in 2002 about they, which made like $2 so apparently they, the movie, didn’t find out the answer either. Wikipedia has some arcane and self-described non-technical explanation that uses examples such as pronouns and the words morphologically and syntactically plural. I am not kidding, look it up.

After I wiped the drool off of my desk from wondering what semester I missed to even figure out what those words meant, I moved on, but I left wondering what the technical explanation was.

There is a they.com Web site touting its largest accomplishment as running on new hardware from a “happy congruence of tax refund checks.”

Apparently they.com never was looking and clearly isn’t even interested in finding the answer, though presumably have the hardware to do so.

Rudyard Kipling and William Shakespeare both wrote about they, though this is like reading the King James Version of the Bible. If you can understand this, an ability I do not posses, you have a shot at finding the answer. My eyes started to bleed so I had to move on. Interesting: Both of these were written in 1904. Must have been a long winter.

Good ole Webster’s had the definition, but that isn’t what I needed. I already know how to use they in a sentence, though it is not apparent in this writing. It made no mention of where I might find they or how to even get there.

Webster’s is presumably too concerned about getting all of the words spelled correctly, which is incredibly comedic — I don’t know how you are supposed to find the word’s spelling when you can’t spell it in the first place.

I’ll keep looking and let you know of my progress. I have a call in to the literal comic, Steven Wright.

He seems to have a deeper understanding of these things than I do. He describes a time that he came upon a tollbooth and there was a sign that said to check brakes. So he got out of his car, removed the tires and did. Thirty yards later, he had to do it all over again.

Commuting is slow with him, but I am sure when he makes it into the office, he will call.

So do you think down south somewhere this is somebody looking for a them or a them there?

Mirror publisher Rudi Alcott: ralcott@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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