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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fun with the sounds of words

This is my first post on my new blog: I used to think.

 I am not sure yet, what will be on this blog, but perhaps you and I will discover it together.  I used to think that it mattered what I thought, but now I am not so sure.  Trying this out to see whether my thinking makes sense even to me, and then perhaps look for your comments to find out what sense it makes to you.

     I have always enjoyed words in both their sound and sense.  I enjoy the very sound of such words as “windowsill,” “Cinderella,” “sassafras,” and, my recent favorite “hydrochlorothiazide”.  Anyone out there who likes words just for their sounds?

     When I was a 7th grade English teacher I taught the rules of grammar, but admitted that only English teachers cared very much whether one said who or whom or used the nominative case after a preposition.  How much does it matter that we use words "correctly"?

My mind does a double take on clichés and phrases that have become a part of everyday speech but must have meant something different or special when first uttered.  What youngster understands “dialing” a phone or “coming on like gangbusters”?  Do you remember?  If so, you are OLD. 

1 comment:

  1. Language is evolving. I have less and less patience for people who complain that "irregardless" isn't a word or that "literally" doesn't mean "figuratively". If that's the way people use it, that's what it means. (And those of us who know better can secretly giggle when someone says, "My head literally exploded.")