- Dulcie Crowther
Two Too Many
When might two be too many? When it’s two donuts. The key word being might.
I enjoyed Mother’s Day morning hike to a few vantage points on St. Croix with my husband David. At one rocky outcrop overlooking the north shore of the island, we drank coffee and ate sugar donuts. I bought three for two people. I rationalized that I would definitely want another after eating the first, but I surely shouldn’t eat two donuts, should I? Maybe 1 ½ so I don’t overindulge, nor feel slighted that I only got one. Oh, wait, you only wanted one donut, David? What’s a girl to do?
When is two not enough? A pack of two Reese's peanut butter cups, two straws in your Scorpion Bowl for four, or two presents under your Christmas tree. When are two letters not enough? When you need to spell the homophones <two> and <too>. We need that third letter to differentiate them from <to>. Two letters wouldn’t make room for the <w> in <two>. The <w> is an etymological marker connecting it with twin, twelve, twenty, twice, twilight, betwixt, between, twine, entwine. All of these words have to do with “twoness.” Unlike its cousins, the <w> in <two> it is not intended to be pronounced, but to simply reveal meaning.
So go ahead and spell with letters that aren’t pronounced and eat that extra donut because two can’t be two too many.