Nov 23, 2017 7:43 AM
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"Wings are lovely! Beach is lovely! Shorefolk are lovely? On the lovely beach are lovely shorefolk?"

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"Those are all right."

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"On the lovely shorefolk are lovely beaches? On the lovely waters are lovely trees? The shorefolk put the water on the trees, the shorefolk put the trees on the water..."

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Some of the nearby other shorefolk overhear this and laugh. Tireh corrects him about the portability of beaches and the state of local agricultural tree-cultivation and boat-building (nil).

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"The shorefolk with the loveliest beaches are happiest? The beaches with the loveliest shorefolk are sandiest? The singers sang, the waves waved..."

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"The correlations are spurious but the grammar is right."

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"The correlations are spurious! The sands are spurious, the beaches are spurious - what a pretty word! The grammar is loveliest!"

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"Sand cannot be spurious! Beaches can't either!"

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"Sand cannot be spurious! Trees cannot be singing! Waters cannot be flying!"

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"Those are true but the grammar is wrong!" And she corrects it.

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And after about an hour of this he is so so delighted with her language and wants to wander around talking to shorefolk, do they mind?

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They do not mind! There are some over there prying shellfish open with their claws and some over there grooming each other's feathers and a not quite grown one over there making a sandcastle and some spearfishing with sharpened sticks.

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He bounds around introducing himself and asking questions about these activities and picking up new vocabulary and confusing them with strings of sentences - "the shorefolk are saving the shells? The shells are saving the shorepeople? The singing is helping the fishing?"

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"We save the pretty shells," says a shorefolk, helpfully spacing out the phrases of the song. "Shells can't do anything. Singing doesn't help fishing usually except to make us fly faster."

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"Can you make the fish fly to you? Can you make something other than you move with singing?"

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"Not with singing."

"Tireh can do it with her invention."

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"Tireh is very clever! Writing is a good invention, for magic and other things."

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"It seems complicated, but it's useful for songburners."

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"With practice it gets less complicated! And there are more things to do with it!"

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"More things?"

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"People write down all their favorite stories, and then if you know how to read it you can share the stories all across the world, and learn everyone else's stories. And you can use it to give instructions to things like the metal things."

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"The metal thing takes sung instructions very nicely."

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"There are other things like it that you need writing to give instructions to."

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"We don't have any of those."

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"I noticed. You might want to make some, someday."

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