by Marsha Ward
We're lucky to have been born into an English-speaking society, for if we hadn't, we would have to struggle to understand the language at all!
Here's an example: I drove behind an eighteen-wheeler yesterday. On the back of the trailer were two words. I didn't know if they were a label because they were upon a shiny surface, or if they were a mission statement for the trucking company.
Did the words in the phrase have the emphasis on the first word, reflecting? If so, they commented upon the brilliant properties of the trailer's surface.
Or maybe the emphasis was on the second word, quality? If so, those two simple words meant something entirely different: a boast, a statement of value one would receive when putting one's goods in the hands of the shipping workers and driver.
Which way do you think the phrase is meant?