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Language Laughs
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Language Laughs

I love language! Reading, writing, speaking, listening, playing with it, creating it, teaching about it, and certainly learning more of it…on every level and from every angle.  Some of my favorite aspects include accents, alliteration, definitions, handwriting, letters, lyrics, puns, quotes, and even the world of erroneous language.  It’s that last one that is the most intriguing to me.

For example, I know a woman who goes ballistic when the word “stool” is used in any context.  I find that hilarious!

Sometimes it makes me laugh, like when the “auto correct” feature on our smartphones twist our words into silly and sometimes scandalous scripts.  It’s funny because it’s not our deliberate doing.  Or even the simple aversions some of us have to certain words.  For example, I know a woman who goes ballistic when the word “stool” is used in any context.  I find that hilarious, BUT I can actually relate to this, because I cringe whenever someone uses the word “clump” in my presence.  Ew!  I mean, really.  These are just not pretty words, but at least they are real words, not mistakes.  They do not demonstrate a lack of, or skewed understanding of vocabulary like saying, “irregardless” instead of “regardless”, or stating that someone is dark “complected” instead of “complexioned”.  It is these types of faux pas that drive me crazy, and always leave me with that “what the…?” reaction.

I’m not saying I’m a perfect English speaker.  Far from it, as I am a constant offender of breaking up the word “another”, but that’s “a whole nuther” story!

I know you’ve seen many of them before, such as when someone writes “your such a good ____”…speller, perhaps?  This confusion of homophones is common, but what about the people who say things like, “supposably” instead of “supposedly”, or “safety deposit box” instead of “safe deposit box”, or “realator” for “realtor”?!  I even heard a guy say that he had to visit the “notar republic”!  I wanted to ask him on which continent we could find that place!  However, I suppose as a language teacher, it is the following grammar issue that sends me through the roof.  That is, whenever I hear someone (anyone) say, “where’s it at”, I just lose it.

I know the English language is creative and dynamic, and there are many varieties of English around the world.  That’s what I love about it, especially EFL in Asia.  It’s cute, quirky and totally candid.  So, I’m not saying I’m a perfect English speaker.  Far from it, as I am a constant offender of breaking up the word “another”, but that’s “a whole nuther” story! I’m just saying…we’ve all got our verbal pet peeves.  What are yours?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Kristina Eisenhower April 18, 2014, 4:48 am

    Sabrina,
    I agree with you about “I seen…”, and would add, “I/You/He/We/They done…” to that list!

  • Sabrina Hamble April 20, 2014, 2:20 am

    “I seen.” I don’t believe I am alone in thinking that this is the most offensive verbal faux pas in the English language. I have found that the only people it doesn’t seem to drive completely insane are those that do not know how to use the word “saw” except in the context of a tool used to cut wood. And, by the way, in my humble opinion, the words “stool” and “clump” sound exactly like what they are as does the word “cumquat.” There are many, many others. We could start a list.

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