I am a fixated fellow who carps on about various topics. Yet when it comes to the actual word of ‘carp‘, opening my mouth and putting my bottom lip out seems strange and un-doable, an un-wieldly action.
To parp is to be a Mr. Toad. To ‘carp‘ sounds as is one is carrying out a musical action or numerical notion, something substantial and meteoric, perhaps, once the abacus has been assembled and the charts drawn up to set out the passage.
Once the carping has been achieved, the word suggests it will not be forgotten. It might cause a reaction of some sort. Does there have to be guidelines on a carp i.e. should it be positive or benign in nature? Remonstrate or simply state? Will the carper reveal more of themselves than the object or person whom they deride?
Rather than use the more well-known and altogether different ‘c word‘, it’s a softer delivery and more pleasant formulation, not a million miles away from some form of motherese where a soothing word is gently sent to someone in need.
Though I feel foolish by typing this, by my focus on a tiny word which I can’t remember ever having used in both conversation and on the page, it’s as good a word as any to obsess over. It’s inimical as all good linguistic creations are; unique, memorable and preferable to, say, ‘traitor‘ (all that those ‘ts‘ signify is a will to turn the audience’s gaze on the speaker who indignantly draws themselves to their full height).