When we teach children throughout the world that a noun is a name that signifies a “person place or thing” and a verb is a word that signifies an “action or event or state of being,” do we think that we have done them a service? Or do we think that we have just borrowed a little time to stall their minds until we come up with more satisfactory definitions?
How long does it take for the average clever student to realize that “actions, events or states of being” are all “things?” ‘To run’ is a thing and so is ‘to sleep.’ Therefore to run and to sleep are nouns?
Perhaps the majority of students learn these definitions and carry them throughout life without realizing the mistake- or at best half truth that is implied in them.
These definitions appear to be purely functional….sort of. Perhaps they bring the mind closer to the truth but they ultimately fail.
It is not a virtue to live an entire life contented with half truths – as if the mind has been lulled to sleep and feels as if it knows when it does not know.
One begins to wonder whether it is important to know what a noun is and what a verb is?
On the other hand I would think that a wise person would at least know or want to know the difference. Given that nouns and verbs are the fundamental words by which we describe the entire world, angels and the Trinity, it sure would be nice to know what they are precisely. Or do we propose that a student is successfully educated who obtains a high school or college degree without knowing the difference?
What is the answer and how might one learn what a noun is and what a verb is? Or do we care?
Hmmmm….maybe a Liberal education would provide the answer.