Interesting Article

about language moving on.


I read a lot of fan fiction. A lot of it is written by Brits. They use words differently than we do here in the States. Some things drive me bananas. Toy boy instead of boy toy. A toy boy is a Ken doll, or G I Joe. A boy toy is a boy you mess around with, right? On instead of in. It started with ‘on line’. You are not standing ON a line, you are part of the line, therefore, you are standing IN line. Lately I’ve been seeing it in all kinds of sentences where ‘in’ is the word that’s always been used, but is somehow morphing into on. Just not knowing the proper tenses of some words is another nitpick for me. How many people say ‘he span around’. No, he may have spun around, but span is reach, not the past tense of spin. I have no room to talk, however. I have always read voraciously. In school, if I did not know what a word meant, I would try to figure it out based on the context of the sentence it was in. If I didn’t know how to pronounce it, I would sound it out. Phonetics works, people. Seriously. One word, however, remains to this day a sad indication of my not figuring it out correctly. Subtle. Sub – tel. No, it’s suttle. How am I supposed to know this? So all my life, I thought subtle was one word, and suttle was another. Until it was pointed out to me by a friend, who now likes to remind me of it continuously. It is like our own private little in-joke, only not private, cause every gets to know of my mistake. This makes me laugh. But why is there a silent ‘b’? Who thought this is a good idea? How do people even learn English if it’s not their first language? Read/read. Bow/bow. Bass/bass. Oh, why are you writing the same word twice here? Well, I’m not. They just LOOK the same, are spelled the same, but sound different, and mean different things. How would you know this? I even have to write notes to myself about it. I used to keep a list of books I wanted to read, and marked them ‘read’ after I read them. Then I lost it. When I found it again, I could remember if the ‘read’ was ‘red’ or ‘reed’, so I started to put ‘have read’ and ‘to read’. English IS my first language. It’s also my only language. It’s just not my best language.

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