A hat is a hat, and a cap is a cap. There is a difference.
But if that’s the case, then why do so many people now call a cap a hat? Do they also call a glass a cup?
Just the other day, someone told me that he had to go back into the house and get a hat. And then came back out wearing a cap.
“That’s not a hat,” I said.
“Yes, it is,” he said.
“No,” I said. “A hat has a brim all the way around the crown. A cap has a visor just in the front.”
“Big deal,” he said.
“Yes, it is,” I said.
Why do I think this is a crisis? It’s because, if we don’t solve the cap versus hat grammatical crisis right now, it could mark the beginning of an American communication conundrum.
After all, from the time the English language was brought over on the Mayflower until now, we’ve somehow managed to create a much more morose version. In addition, we’ve added enough slang to make the language a distant facsimile and, in some parts, nearly indecipherable.
In fact, if you listen to a 5-year-old toddler in England speak English, you’ll find that version sounds three times more sophisticated and altogether different from that spoken by the Kardashians.
Then, there’s what I call the “Yogi Berra Fetish.”
There are so many people wearing caps backwards in America today, like a baseball catcher, that it is confusing to society as a whole.
Yet sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in America bothered by this? There must be others.
For example, the corporate head of a major cap and hat company has to be nervous whenever it comes time to do inventory. After all, where does he find someone to work for him who stills knows the difference between a cap and a hat?
And think about this. How stupid would it have looked in the movie “True Grit” if a mounted John Wayne had charged four desperadoes wearing a baseball cap? Or can you imagine Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill wielding a saber and wearing a baseball cap backwards?
Or what if Lt. Col. George Custer had led the charge at the Little Big Horn wearing a Cincinnati Red Legs baseball cap? After all, the Red Legs were established in 1869, seven years before Custer’s Last Stand. And since Custer grew up in Ohio, he could have been a fan, so it might have happened. And yet, what kind of image would that have been?
Still, you might assert that a cap and a hat serve the same purpose. They do?
If that’s truly the case, I think we should eliminate the words "cap" and "cup." Then, in the morning you can sip from a steaming glass of coffee wearing your hat backwards. After all, a cup and glass and a cap and hat all serve the same purpose, don’t they?