Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Puzzler of the day.

Carolina from Holland, a reader of Billy Ray Barnwell’s blog (see sidebar), has revealed in a comment that her father often says:

“Het is maar goed dat ik oren heb, anders was ik nu blind geweest.”

Carolina says this means, “If I didn’t have ears, I would be blind.”

The free translator I used on the internet translates it as, “It is but well that I ears have, otherwise was I now blind person been.” So much for the reliability of free translators on the internet.

Without searching Billy Ray’s blog for Carolina’s comment, would you care to hazard a guess as to (a) why her father says that and (b) what prompted her to reveal it?

I will tell you the answer after a sufficient number of you attempt it on your own.

Be creative in your answers!

[Update, Feb. 6, 2009: I originally planned to reveal the answer in a simple, short comment in the comments section, but as trying to nail down exactly what I wanted to say became more and more difficult, I decided to place a longer answer here in the post itself. Now, however, I have changed my mind again. When in doubt, let the source speak for itself, I say. I have decided to reproduce the entire exchange between Carolina and Billy Ray Barnwell in a separate post today. --RWP]


  1. He's an alien from Neptune whose neurological system is wired differently from ours. He said it often to remind his children of their Neptunian heritage because they were in danger of being assimilated into Earthling culture.

    You did say you wanted creative.

  2. The expression means literally, to not see something that was quite obvious) as the nose on his face).
    He said it often because his sense of the obvious was not as keen as yours. She said it because she missed some crucial point in the compelling novel and you kindly pionted it out to her (such as that you didn't write it, Billy Ray did).

    Now tell me why your last post was seven hours ago, it shows up on my dashboard as in existence but it "can't be found" by my blogger. There is a true puzzler. Sometimes it takes a whole day for your posts to appear on my machine. Are you using a Bosnian IPO?

    I think Ruth is on the right track on this one...not

  3. I don't know... could it be that a WORD is worth a thousand PICTURES?

  4. Ruth Hull Chatlien, how funny!

    Michael (Reamus), an interesting explanation, though not as playful as Ruth's (assuming, of course, that Ruth was being playful).

    Tracie (Rosezilla), I'm trying to figure out what you meant...are you saying that hearing is more to be desired than seeing? Please elaborate!

  5. P. S. to Reamus - I don't know why that happened. I did change it from "published" to "draft" status and back to "published" and back to "draft" a few times to make changes until I was satisfied with it and see how it looked as version A or B or C, and you may have popped in during that process. As far as I know, I am not using a Bosnian IPO. Doesn't that stand for Initial Public Offering (as on Wall Street)? Did you mean some other incomprehensible abbreviation?

  6. No, I'm not trying to say what I feel at all, just what the speaker might mean. I guess if I had to choose, I'd choose sight over hearing. As a writer I am always searching for that perfect word that would be worth a thousand pictures... and I really, really want to know what "geweest" means. (My son just informed me that it means "are." I am a little let down)

  7. I apologize. I meant ISP, as in internet service provider.

    Well, that might explain that one post, but after it has been publuished seven hours, I rather doubt it. Since it occurs with all your new ones I was just curious as to whether it is a general problem or just my system talking to yours. It is not one I have elsewhere, nor I suspect one that either of us can do anything about. I expect they are merely wandering the ethernet...