by Tom Swift

The Hmong have a phrase, hais cuaj txuh kaum txub, which means “to speak of all kinds of things.” It is often used at the beginning of an oral narrative as a way of reminding the listeners that the world is full of things that may not seem to be connected but actually are; that no event occurs in isolation; that you can miss a lot by sticking to the point …

-Anne Fadiman, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997)