The Mad Tea Party

I was always confused as a kid by the way the tea party in Alice in Wonderland was referred to as "mad." Mad? Those guys didn't seem mad at all. They tipped the scales on "crazy," but I never saw them as being mad. Later in life I learned that "mad" can also mean "crazy." Synonyms... yet another way language has managed to vex me.

When languages were originally developed, couldn't we have just made up an entirely new word for each new thing? Theodor Geisel got his doctorate in making up words, so I know there's potential for lots more of them than we're using. We needn't be giving multiple meanings to the few we have. I still giggle when Gene Autry insists that I be "merry and gay" each Christmas. Synonymns make me mad... by which I mean both "angry" and "nutty."

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