Citizens of our languages, we act as citizens do, participating, reforming, accepting the rituals and celebrating their alteration, occasionally even voting for new rules and rulers. No words are entirely untranslatable; none are entirely transparent. A pragmatic view of how words work is the only view of them that accounts for our persistent tiny triumphs and sudden comic errors. Sometimes they obscure; sometimes they’re plain; often they fail us. When the wild strawberries are in season, you hope you find the words to get them on your plate. When the beans come, you eat the beans.

Adam Gopnik, “Word Magic”