“1 Of The Most Carnage Producing Words In The English Language: Assume”

The “English Language” seems to be the most difficult to teach and many times all but impossible to interpret.  This is just a small example of what I mean.  Read,Read, and Red, two looks alike two sound alike, but until we take the time to investigate each meaning, one could “assume” that Read and Read were the same things, and Red could not possibly sound like either of them.  “1 Of The Most Carnage Producing Words In The English Language: Assume”   is not an “English” class, instead it is a true account, of the “carnage” created by the damnable word, and thought “Assume.”  As you read the rest of this true story, you should know that this is an update.  The  fact that our deep friendship covered a 50-year span, I didn’t “assume” there was something terribly amiss, when I failed to hear from him for over year.  I knew in my heart, life long friends know such things, that the only reason he would have gone so long without calling on the phone, or when I would call, all I would hear was the caller was unavailable.  Was that he was no longer on this earth,  that fact not assumption was verified.  And yet he lives on in my mind and leaves me with 50 years of nonfiction stories to tell.  “Assume” if you want to, but it facts that root out the lies.


His name is Frank, and he has been my best friend for fifty years, we grew up together, went to school together, played football together, where you saw one of us, you also saw the other.  He started his “dance” with Uncle Sam, in early 1969, I started mine, in October of 1969, thankfully we both made it back.  It is quite easy to “assume” that because we made  “home” that what we left behind would stay behind, but that is simply not the case.  Just as we could easily “assume” that the flower in the photograph is one single beautiful Hibiscus bloom, when in reality it is two separate blooms.  It was the angle I used in the shot to create the first glance “assumption”   and just like that, what was “assumed” was a mistaken perception.  When we ‘assume” we often always cheat the truth.  If we dare to “assume” be willing to pay the price, in this case, the price was high and forever changed Franks life.

Frank lived in a small town in Georgia, a well known and respected man.   Like many of us he had children, and in the world we live in today, at times, our children, pick up dependencies, on things that are both deadly and addictive.  Such was the case with one of Frank’s sons, just like many of us also, he did everything humanly possible to help his child out.  If you have walked in those shoes you understand completely, what I am talking about.  It progressed to the point, that his son could no longer stay at home,  there were other children around, and there comes a time, although we hate it, we just have to do what we have to do.  Frank moved his son into a local motel and paid for the room in advance, week by week, on the condition that he would continue seeking help.  Sometimes it works other times it, well you will see, at the time there really no warning signs that would have led Frank to “assume” the “carnage” that was about to take place.

Frank was on his way to town one morning, to complete some business at the County Court House.  The highway that he had to use passed directly in front of the motel his son was staying in.  When he glanced over in the direction of his sons room there were several police cars surrounding the motel and room.  He nonchalantly quipped, I wonder what kind of trouble he is in now, and continued on his way.  Was it hard for him to “assume” that his son may have been in trouble again?   No, but did that thought come with a price, most assuredly it did.

As I have mentioned previously Frank was a well-known member of the community, simply because he had been the Warden at a State Prison Facility, and was well known in the circles of Law Enforcement, which made it quite easy to find him at the County Court.  Was he surprised or have any inclination, of what awaited him, when an Officer said, “you really need to come with me, Frank.”  No, he just “assumed” that he was being provided a professional courtesy, and they wanted him to be present when they did what they had to do with his son.   “Words” alone could not explain the “carnage” he was going to come face to face with.  The truth is Frank had just spoken to his son on the phone three days before, and from what he told me everything seemed good.

The real price of Assume:

The “carnage” of the thought and word “assume” was immense, I don’t think the English Language has enough adequate words to describe it.  Frank was not there as a Courtesy,  he was there to identify the body of his oldest son.  All indications were, that his son had died Three days before, and because it was in the winter, the heat had been on the whole time.  What the hell  do you say to your best friend in that situation?  To “assume” I could say I knew how he felt, was impossible, for thank God I have not walked in those shoes yet.  Frank was not the same from that day forward, and shortly after suffered a severe stroke.  When you write non-fiction like I do, “assume” is something I have an obligation not to do.  If you were to “assume” that the stress of Franks Sons death was the cause of his stroke, that would have been a huge mistake.  The documented facts are these, his stroke was the effect of what some us left behind, and others like Frank brought back.  His stroke was a direct result of exposure to Agent Orange if your to young enough to know what that is, I suggest you google it and see for yourself.

How easy is it to “assume”, quite frankly it’s easier for some of us to believe the assumption than it is to seek the truth, the “carnage” that type thinking causes many times is irreparable.

IMG-20131101-02234“Assume” is the photograph of one Morning Glory or two?  I know the answer because I took the photograph, it’s one Morning Glory, an oddity of Nature.  See how easily “carnage” can be created all because of that word “assume.”

IMG-20120329-00055What about this photograph, a look from a mountain top, down on a river that meanders through a hazy, lazy, valley?   Take a close look I will wait.  It looks convincing, right?  That’s how easy it is to “assume” what it really is this.  It’s a photograph of clouds in the sky, as a cold front makes its way through the atmosphere.



Are children taking a nap a daycare?  That would be a  terrible “assumption” to make.  Actually, it is the aftermath of reported “carnage” in Syria, and yes a nap for eternity, from the effect of the poisonous gas.

The title of this article   “1 Of The Most Carnage Producing Words In The English Language: Assume”   was followed by three words, Read,Read and Red, if one were just learning the “language” it would be easy to “assume” that two of the words that look the same, must sound the same, and mean the same.  I don’t teach English but I do love words, this explanation clears up the term, “assume” for me.  If you can read, and you have found yourself here at the end of this article, you have read it, and if you notice the color of the sign over the head of the child on the lefts head, that is the color of Red.






4 thoughts on ““1 Of The Most Carnage Producing Words In The English Language: Assume””

  1. David, I read it twice, and though I have different thoughts on a couple of points, it is a beautiful tribute to a man we have both known for so long…Thank you for your thoughtful words.

    1. Thank you, Susan. We knew him in quite different ways, a former spouse and a life long true friend. I wrote the story before you gave me the confirmation of what I, in my heart, knew. I have fifty years of stories to tell. I will assure you that this particular one, was the most difficult to write. No asweres to give, when your friend asks broken-heartedly why. Thank you for your time to read and comment. Be Well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *