Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Humpty Dumpty, since when was he an egg?

To serve as a refresh here is the rhyme in full:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Now the name "Humpty Dumpty" is synonymous with the image of an egg falling off a wall, but today I pose this question: where the hell in the rhyme does it say he's an egg? Furthermore why would the king send all his horses and men to put him back together? Humpty Dumpty does not seem that significant! Lastly if a giant egg had indeed fallen to pieces and the king was for some unknown reason greatly concerned with rebuilding him, why the horses? Not exactly the most gracious of beasts are they? Humpty would be ground into egg powder!

4 Comments:

Blogger Niall said...

From wiki:
"[The Rhyme's] original form was probably as a riddle, exploiting for misdirection the fact that "humpty dumpty" was 17th-Century reduplicative slang for a short, clumsy person. Whereas a clumsy person falling off a wall would not be irreperably damaged, an egg would be. The rhyme is no longer posed as a riddle, since the answer is now so well known."

The horse point is a good one though - they couldn't put anything together with those hooves, let alone an egg.

BTW, Humpty was pushed.

9:07 a.m., March 28, 2006  
Blogger Marty said...

ooOOOOOOoooooo your powers are also great, where does it say he was pushed?

9:18 a.m., March 28, 2006  
Blogger Dave said...

I think the questions should be, where does it say he wasnt an egg?
Where does it say he wasnt of vital importance to the country and worth saving? Where does it say that these werent magic horses with radioactively mutated apposable thumbs and a vast wealth of medical knowledge greater than any human? huh, huh, thats what I thought, you cant handle the truth!

11:34 a.m., March 28, 2006  
Blogger Marty said...

To qualify as a truth u must first present a statment of fact, in teh absense of any such statment it can only be concluded he is not an egg

12:59 p.m., March 28, 2006  

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