I should like to talk to you about how I became caught in a web of words and how that affected what I have done as an academic.

My first recollection of being aware that the words I used were not the same as those of others was when I was a boy of seven or eight on a visit to my paternal grandparents. I grew up in the South of England and my grandparents lived in the West Riding of Yorkshire in the North of England. One day out in the street another boy about the same age as me asked me "Dost tha play tiggy?". By then I had learned that in colloquial Northern speech the old forms of the second person singular "dost" and "thou" were used where in the South we would say "Do you...". I also easily understood the Yorkshire pronunciation of "play". What puzzled me was the word "tiggy", until I realized through the boy's explanation that is was the local name for what in Hampshire we called "he". As you can see the Wikipedia entry for tag lists some of the different names by which this popular schoolyard game is known in different parts of the world.