My fear of heights began when I climbed down the sewer of Armageddon during a thunderstorm.
Every language user has the ability to create sentences which have never before been spoken or written in that language, and every other user of that language has the ability to understand them (assuming linguistic competence, performance and cooperation by all).
Yesterday, one of my nieces, who is studying linguistics, wrote the sentence above as part of a Facebook post about the pipe organ she’s practicing on. Yes, she really did visit Israel, yes, she really did visit Tel Megiddo, yes, she really did climb down the former sewer/emergency escape route / current alternative route (with metal steps) for tourists, yes, there really was a thunderstorm at the time.
This sentence could possibly be the first sentence in a religious mystery/thriller novel. The first part might lead up to the heroine’s first confrontation with the Big Bad during a thunderstorm at Tel Megiddo. The second part might see her overcome her new fear of heights in order to vanquish the Big Bad on the roof of some historical and conspiracy-theory-related church building.
Actually, she wrote, in full,
I can’t be certain, but I think my fear of heights began when I climbed down the sewer of Armageddon during a thunderstorm last January
but I think the truncated version is more dramatic.
(I asked for her permission to quote her, and whether she wanted me to use her name, ‘one of my nieces’ or ‘a Facebook friend’.)
(My very first post on this blog was about a unique sentence created by a student in Korea.)