Why the following has latched onto my brain I don’t know, but I feel like this is leading to some great epiphany or a great madness. Either could be a fun ride.
Stuffing. Such a simple word. Yet it can mean three different things.
The act, the food, the stuff in objects.
Here we go. I am stuffing the stuffing into the turkey. I am stuffing the stuffing into the cushion.
Language is so interesting sometimes when I actually pay attention to it as I use it but really when I hear or read it from someone else. I have a facebook friend that chooses to write in what seems like a foreign twisted version of the english language. The thing is I can actually understand what she writes, mostly. Even though I had never seen those letters combined in such a way, they mostly made sense. I’m perplexed. I don’t know why I’m perplexed but I am.
Isn’t that somewhat how language works?
You start making your own sounds and hearing from others and you watch people talking and you watch those lip movements. You then start to mimic these. You get feedback and repetition. Then the dreaded alphabet. We have it lucky. If my random knowledge holds, I think the Chinese language has about 10,000 characters. Right? We have 26 to use to make words. 10,000! I think my brain just had a seizure. I can’t imagine someone knowing all of the characters AND the words they make up. But I’m sure they need to know more than 26 characters.
It’s still interesting that the English/American language (I don’t say footpath) is still considered a complicated language. I do get it. I read (present tense) things from people who live here that can’t use basic language skills. Like college level people who are still working on writing a complete sentence and paragraph. Not to say I don’t make mistakes when I write. I do. I also take liberties with the language. I don’t always write complete sentences.
If you get a chance to talk to someone who wasn’t born here or had a very proper education you can immediately tell the difference. The spelling and grammar are usually spot on. Unfortunately maybe because we don’t write so good it can seem mechanical and too precise. Like the way most real-life animated creatures are obviously fake and we’re ok with that but those animated creatures that are getting closer to acting/looking like humans just creep us out. They are on the edge but just not good enough yet. We can still spot the difference.
After the alphabet, we work on combining them into things we call words. C. A. T. = ?
It’s ok if you missed that one. Everyone needs a goal to strive for. But it’s not just how you put those letters together. It’s the other words around it that can give it meaning and how to pronounce it. I have read (red) it. I will read (reed) it. Then there are the words that sound alike. I will right the problems when I write about rites. This is a quintuple doozy since right and write and rite sound alike and right can be to correct, the direction, and a claim. You read the sentence and if you know of the rules you can understand what it means. It’s the rules and the corollaries to the rules and the exceptions to the rules and the exceptions to the exceptions (I made this last one up), that confuse the crap out of people who trying to figure out the language. A perverse reason I wish we could read and write american better as a country.
As this year progresses ponder on the nature of the word and be thankful at thanksgiving that we can communicate. And as I said, in the end the turkey still loses, unless it’s tofurkey.
Yeah I know, I stretched at the end to bring it back to the title. I can’t say it deviated from the intent since this one grew as I put thought to electron.
Hoping for a more educated world.
-Santa’s Fallen Angel