A scholar of language and grammar undertook a journey. A river had to be crossed. As was custom in those days, the scholar hired the boat of a waiting ferryman who took people across the river.
During the journey, the scholar asked the ferryman, with obvious pride and mockery, if he knew anything about grammar and the rules of language. The ferryman simply replied “I don’t.” “Alas!” Retorted the scholar of grammar, “You have wasted half of your life!”
At this, the sailor was terribly hurt and aggrieved. But he kept quiet. Suddenly, the boat was extremely nervous in the high waves and gushing water. “Do you know how to swim, learned sir?” Asked the sailor. “No” said the scholar.” The ferryman remarked “Alas! You have wasted your whole life for the boat is sure to capsize in a few minutes!”