Say what?

March 29 2014 002


I am constantly amazed that people who profess to speak English manage to be understood at all.  Seriously! We park in a driveway and drive on a parkway. Huh?  English is my first (and only) language.  I can say phrases in several other languages but that is simply amusing or impressive depending on how well you know me.

It can be quite entertaining to listen to someone pronounce words simply by reading them.  I’m not just talking about people new to the language. Some native speakers macerate words in the most interesting way.  I once had to ask a friend to repeat several times the word she was saying before I could figure it out.  We were talking about cartoons. She said she enjoyed…am-in-a-tion.  I’m spelling it the way it sounded. She meant animation!

Then of course you have different regions with different words for the same thing. Sneakers, running shoes and trainers all mean the same thing. A rug and a blanket mean the same thing but in different countries.

English is a language that combines words from all over the globe. Bungalow has its origins in India. Denim – French.  Night – German.  Ostracize – Geek. Slogan – Celtic. Ballot – Italian.

Is it any wonder we can communicate at all? On the other hand some of our most memorable humour comes from our use, or misuse, of the English language.

Say what?

But you know what is most important in all of this?  What is of paramount significance is that we try.  We don’t always speak the same language but we have the same feelings.  We love, we hate, we cry.  We all have ambitions and we all have needs.  This is a big beautiful world we all share and we do try to communicate with each other.  There are people who are able to speak several different languages.  Others try to learn about other cultures and ways of living.  We just need to believe.  We need to believe in ourselves. There is goodness in all of us as well as some not so good traits.  But isn’t that what makes life a challenge?

Let’s not give up on each other, please.

8 thoughts on “Say what?

  1. mishunderstood

    I know someone who says “pacific” for “specific”. I don’t think she will ever pronounce it right, but it is unique to her and rather endearing, I suppose. All of our inadequacies, quirks and differences make this world so very interesting. My American husband and I differ on a few words such as “pecans” and “pasta”. He has never heard of the phrase “are you all set?” and thinks it is funny. I think he is funny when he gets up on the “ruff” to check the “gutters”. Crazy, eh??



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