It is funny how one can read so much into a handful of words. Analyzing poems, novels or any type of literary work is a noble endeavour. However, sometimes too much meaning is attributed to straightforward sentences. Take for instance the sentence, "He threw a red ball." It is simple in its structure and contains only five words.

Ask an English teacher however, and they will find seemingly newfound depths. Why, for instance, is the subject male? Is it because they are said to be the more aggressive of the two sexes? This would then explain why the ball is red. After all, red can signify anger, danger and passion. If he is angry, this gives him motivation to throw the ball. We must then ask ourselves, why is he angry?

What is discovered from this analysis is that an angry or passionate man has been moved enough to throw a ball at what, we do not know. This is an interesting interpretation of an innocent sentence. Nonetheless, examination of the text adds a meaning that was never supposed to be there in the first place.

Sometimes a word is just a word. When added together they make up a sentence that means only one thing; what it says. "He threw the red ball", means just that. A man threw a ball. He wasn't filled with emotion and he wasn't galvanized into action by an outside source. He simply does not exist outside the verb phrase.