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October 14th, 1999

I was reading a book and saw a picture of a zither. Immediately, the phrase, "Play your spine like a zither" popped into my mind. And I thought to myself, Y'know, your spine isn't really a zither. It's a lute.

See, the definition of a zither is a chordophone (stringed instrument) of which the strings run the entire length of the body and are parallel to it. To clarify, picture a 2x4 with a single string running from one end to the other. It doesn't extend beyond the 'body' of the 2x4. Now, think of a guitar. It has a body where the strings are attached but the strings extend beyond the body onto the 'neck' of the guitar. Therefore, a guitar is classified as a lute. Now, think of a human. A human's spine starts at the base of what we'll metaphorically call the body and extends beyond the body into the neck. So, since the spine extends into a neck, humans should be classified as a lute.

Somehow, though, "I'll play your spine like a lute" doesn't sound as glamorous.

 

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