"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Monday, 23 July 2012

you say potatoes, i say potatoes

I am by no means a master of the English language.  I wish I was.  I have spoken before about how I got ripped off by my young sons for calling "Wimbledon", "Wimbleton".  It was only when those 8, 6 and 5 year old cretins reprimanded me that I realised that I had forever and a day said and thought that Wimbledon was Wimbleton.  To this day, and especially if the cretins are around, I make sure that I say the "don" with emphasis.  It does not come naturally.
Michael's mother is a master of the English language and is not afraid to correct me if I say "I" instead of "me" or if I end a sentence with a preposition.  She also loves to pronounce things properly.  Hout Bay is Hout (Afrikaans) Bay (English).  Pretty odd to me.  If in an Italian restaurant, she will ask for "Ravioli" (said like a real Italian).  It is a pity we don't take her to restaurants that often anymore, because it really used to amuse me.
Dalene and I had some beauts as children.  A handbag was a hambag and a chest of drawers a "chester drawers".    A sandwich was a samwich and my mother still confuses us to this day by calling them "sarnies" when we call them "sarmies".
I saw joke the other day that all people over 50 cannot say "prostate" and call it a "prostrate".  The joke was along the lines of  "a pain in the prostate may leave a man "prostrate" but the gland contains no "r"".  I know for a fact that I have made this mistake.
Now try this quiz.  Confession - I scored an 88% and went back, changed one or two (and scored 88% again).  It needed a third try and I am still not sure where I went wrong?  Pretty interesting (and I hope I am not the only one).  Library and Asterisk?

Here are some common words that are incorrectly pronounced.

Etcetera - in this case a "k" is often substituted for the first "t". Pronouncing it as "ek-set-er-a" is not correct; it is "et-set-er-a". Or, to avoid the confusion rather say "and so on".  Sounds better than "etcetera, etcetera", I think.

I am a bit like that with the word dyslexic - I cannot say it, so just avoid it.  It comes with "DYS" is it "die" or "dis"?.  My brain has it wrong. When I read it, it is fine but to say it causes a pregnant pause, so I avoid it.  Perhaps I need to be diagnosed?  However, I can say psychologist and psychiatrist perfectly but struggle so with the spelling.

Porsche fanatics often (offen NOT ofTEN) go berserk over this one. Porsche is a two-syllable word - "Porsh" may sound faster, but is incorrect. The word is "Porsh-uh".  Durrh...

Do you say "Chomp at the bit" - WRONG. Please say "Champ at the bit"

Do you say expresso, instead of espresso?  It does indeed seem like an express version of  a cup of coffee but it is from the Italian, so don't change it.  While talking about coffee do you say "perculated" coffee instead of the correct "percolated"?  You bad - (me too)

Everybody must know someone who says "fillum" instead of "film", who uses the expression "for all intensive purposes" instead of "for all intents and purposes" and who adds a  few more "e's" to jewelry or who drops the "e" altogether "jewlry".

The famous one from our legal office - the word "affidavid".  Even if your attorney's name is David, he issues "Affidavits"

Just as pronounciation must be pronunciation and renumeration is remuneration.  These two are just there to confuse us - pronouncing the words and counting the numbers? 

One of my most embarrassing moments was having to read out loud in front of the class in Standard 2.  The mother was very fatigued and I called her "fat ee gooed".   I don't think the class would have noticed but the very scary Miss Howell drew attention to the matter, wrote it on the board and explained the meaning to the class (much to their amusement).  Fatigue is another word that I avoid using and not because I cannot pronounce it (that is a lesson I will never forget), I decided there and then in that English class 44 years ago that I would never, ever say that word again.  It is a matter of principle.

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