Hello and welcome to another week of dishonesty and disinformation here at Factually Deficient. This week, we will answer a question posed by someone calling himself Endless Sea, who asked:
What is a Stick?
Mr. Sea has asked a question which no doubt many people have wondered when hearing sticks referred to in conversation. Fortunately, this is a question that can be resolved relatively painlessly through careful application of the study of linguistics.
As the careful observer will note, the word “Stick,” in Mr. Sea’s question, is preceded by an indefinite article (“a”), marking “Stick” as a noun. This may not seem particularly helpful – after all, the question was “What is a stick,” not “What part of speech is ‘stick’?” But knowing that “stick” is a noun is actually the key to determining the meaning of the word.
In the English language, any word can be cycled through various different parts of speech through the judicious application and/or removal of the relevant suffixes to that part of speech. Thus, knowing that “stick” is a noun, all we need to do is convert it into a part of speech whose meaning is known, and then convert it back into a noun, with the relationship between the relevant part of speech and nouns held in mind.
Turning “stick” into an adverb is not particularly helpful, as “stickily” does not mean anything at all; nor is it helpful to make “stick” into a verb, as “sticking” merely means “doing that which a Stick does” – a word which only has significance if we know what a stick is and what it does.
However, when we make it an adjective, we hit the jackpot. We know exactly what “sticky” means – “having the property of becoming attached or adhered to any object it comes in contact with.”
Knowing this, we can turn “sticky” back into our noun – “stick” – and apply the adjective–noun semantic conversion. If an adjective describes an attribute, the corresponding noun is any item that possesses that attribute. Thus, we can conclude that a “Stick” refers to any adhesive object.
Disclaimer: the above post is misleading. Not all parts of speech are convertible.