Aglet – the little plastic or metal thing that keeps the ends of shoelaces from unravelling. English has a word for every object or action or thought. Well, almost every. Other languages and cultures have concepts that English doesn’t cover. The Finns (the country, not the drunken Irish) are obsessed with familial relations. English has aunts and uncles. Finnish breaks them down to mother’s side or father’s, if they are mother’s, or father’s, sisters and brothers, or just married to them. It runs to about 26 different words. Who cares? Other than Finns, obviously?
Males tend to excel at math and spatial relationships, while females do better with language and communication. There will be no smart comments allowed when I admit that I have always been a linguiphile. (That’s a lover of language.) I was able to read magazines before I turned 5, and my voracious print consumption gained me my greatest and best ability, one from which I have not garnered a nickel in my entire life. I understand words, and know their exact meanings, and often how that occurred.
My daughter bought me a Words To Impress People, word-a-day calendar for Christmas. It contained words like, dalliance, iconoclast, raconteur, ideologue, sacrilegious and abatement. While interesting, it was no big deal. I don’t need to impress people. These words are in my normal vocabulary. I’ve used them in my posts. I hope some of you have looked up one or two you might not have known.
It wasn’t till I got to January 25th, that I hit one I didn’t know, or at least hadn’t run into – labanotation. (Oh dear, Spellcheck doesn’t like that one.) I might have been able to pull it apart and figure it out on my own, but – there’s the definition. It’s the nomenclature used to choreograph ballets, modern dance and other performances, so that dancers can follow the steps. I can’t think why a classy, upscale guy like me didn’t know that one.
Words can be used for precision, gravitas or historical value. As the late, great Benny Hill often said, “He was bent on seeing her, does not mean that the sight of her doubled him up.” Some words are used instead of others for effect, to produce certain opinions and feelings. I personally like the word *sonorous*, meaning to have a full, rich, impressive sound, for two interconnected reasons. It resembles the word *snore*, and when I think of it, I get the mental image of any political assembly, half of them droning on, self-importantly, the other half snoozing.
I try not to use text-speak or tweet-write. I’ve posted WTF a couple of times, but I feel that anything more important than whether or not you had raisins in your oatmeal this morning, is worth more than 140 characters. I’ve previously pointed out the difference between those who can read, and those who do read. Sadly, I fear that many of those who don’t read, feel that they do, because of all the smart-phone thumbnastics they go through to feel connected.
LMFAO or YOLO is not going to get or keep a job for them. I feel sorry for them because, with all their cute little abbreviations, their vocabulary will soon be down to 200 words. They think they’re communicating, but actually they’re missing the broad complexities that the language is capable of.
Now that I’m retarded retired, most of the sad, miscommunication I’m exposed to, comes from print, whether paper and ink, or digital. I’ll continue to rant about crossword puzzle makers’ casual ignorance of precise meanings. Bring – and fetch. Bring means that you have it, and carry it to me. Fetch means you don’t have it, but must go to get it before bringing it to me. Tiny details that prevent you from being wrong, and looking the fool.
I ranted to myself about, should = must, yesterday. I should study for a test tomorrow, rather than going to see the movie, A Good Day To Die Hard. I must answer to several people for the poor mark I will get on the exam.
A misuse of names affects the son and his employer. I have never been approached by someone who did not possess American, State licence plates, or regional accents, for the location of a particular, much-mispronounced city street. The famous composer, Andrew Lloyd Webber, has an English name, with two B’s, and six letters, pronounced “Webb-Brr.” On his Wikipedia page, there is even a note, “Do not confuse with Andrew Weber.” Our Weber Street is named for a German with only one B and five letters in his name, pronounced “Wee-Brr.” See the difference? Many don’t!
The son’s plastic molding company makes parts for the American-owned Weber barbecue company, and to agree with their customer, are forced to pronounce it Webb-Brr.
I worked for four years at a precision machine shop, where tolerances went down to Millionths of an inch, yet the chief engineer wondered why his young male assistant and I bothered to set our digital watches to within a second of radio Standard time. With my obsession with the language, I often wonder why writers (and speakers) devote so much time and energy to other things, yet fail so badly in their word choices and spelling.
There’s a word for that, but it’s not commonly used in polite company, so, I’m done.