The senior center in my town sponsors a choir that started with twelve singers about seven years ago. The group now consists of about fifty, very talented voices. I sang with them when they were about twenty voices. They are good and I relish the opportunity to hear them. They sang tonight at a Chatauqua at Urbana University.

I arrived early for a prime aisle seat, early enough to hear a warm-up and greet my friends in the group.

One friend, Jack, joined the group after I’d left. Jack and I taught at the same school. We both admit to having slightly demented senses of humor. We love puns (there is no such thing as a bad one) and wordplay. 

(I cherish a letter Jack sent me answering what I thought a simple question, “Is Amen properly pronounced with a long A sound or a short one?” His response is two handwritten legal pages.)

Jack came to greet me and re-tie his shoes. Soon another man sat next to Jack. I heard him say, “I have one of your guitar CHORDS.”

I was puzzled. Had Jack developed a new fingering for an F diminished 7th with an augmented pinky? I knew he was talented, but…

Jack looked puzzled, too, but not for the same reason, he didn’t recall missing a CORD for his electric guitar. I’d only seen Jack play the unpluggable variety. Geesh!

I shared my puzzlement with Jack who corrected me. It wasn’t an F diminished it was an L. 

Oh, okay.

I told Son the story a short time later and he had another twist on our misunderstood words. He got the spelling correct, but understood a different definition. He referred to a guitar string as a cord. 

Well, if we’re going to play that game…

I knew a guitar had a neck, but I don’t think it goes into a spinal cord.

In this heat, I don’t think anyone will be looking for a cord of wood.

Are we in accord on this? (And I’m not talking a Honda.)