No dictionary has ever yet defined
the almost imperceptible line
between the words completed and finished.
It may seem of little import,
but lexophiles will still resort
to measures great so as not to diminish
the importance of the word –
whether in print, or simply heard.
Samsundar Balgobin, a Guyanese linguist,
when asked for the difference could not resist
the urge to give a humorous reply.
When asked to explain the difference
in words that made some common sense,
he gave a terse example to go by.
Although it is not a definition,
his answer explains the situation.
His question from the audience
said, “Some say there’s no difference
between the words ‘finished’ and ‘complete.’
They appear to be such diverse words,
I believe that idea is absurd.
Please give me an answer I can repeat.
Mr. Balgobin thought for a moment,
and then gave it this erudite comment.
The words he used, I happily repeat,
“When you marry the right woman, you are complete.”
He followed this with the words I can’t deny,
nor can I their import diminish,
“If you marry the wrong woman, you are finished.”
Then, he spoke words that men can live by
(and my vocabulary is replenished)
“If the right one sees you with the wrong one, you’re completely finished.”
© 2015, cbs