The sticky leaves cleaved to my socks as my shovel cleaved the cleaver stem from the root. After that, my chores were all downhill and my garden is as smart as paint.
English is a delightfully precise language. If the Angles, Saxons and Romans didn't have a word for something, the Normans or Germans did. If they fail us, we happily borrow from Hindi, Japanese and Salish.
So you'd think we could do better than the auto-reversible cleave. With that little gem right in the marriage service, it's no wonder the divorce rate is so high.
And then there's the charming smart as paint: Do I look fabulous or do I have the intellect of porch enamel? Or if I have to ask…uh-oh.
Perhaps I am going downhill.
Or, as my father pointed out a few years ago, not: