Thursday, 11 October 2012

I know I ought to finish the Ireland 2012 series but...

Well, let's just put it this way: there are far too many pictures to wrap my head around at the moment.

So let's go travel elsewhere for a while.

I've had this entry bookmarked for a few months now (take a look at the blog entry date). It's an entry by Chantelle, a.k.a. Fat Mum Slim, on her blog and it talks about little language nuances which, in her case, are Australian.
I took this photo on the weekend, while visiting a Farmer’s Market. It’s controversial and I didn’t know it. I shared it on Instagram and people got a bit ‘funny’ about it, because ‘spunk’ means something else. Other than good looking that is. Let’s not go there. (Keep reading her entry here.)
I am no stranger to such strange words, phrases, and word use. In fact, I have been as much a user of strange words, phrases, and word use as I have been a victim of it.

My first exposure to alternate uses of the English language came when I was thirteen and entering a familiar yet not quite familiar world because it was the first truly English-speaking country I visited--previous travels involved Southeast Asian countries which, at the time, weren't very good with English yet.

One of the basic things I came away with was this

I've been very obnoxious about correcting that ever since. ^.^

But it's not just about breaking language and language use barriers. It's also about cultural ones.

One of the things I am determined to teach my children is to at least understand and respect if they cannot accept the practices of another culture. There are many things in various cultures that, from the stand point of my own culture, are repressive sometimes even offensive. And I'm sure there are those who find the culture I'm from repressive and/or offensive at some points.

I don't believe that things like that can be helped, really. The differences in our surroundings, history, beliefs, and development created the different cultures we now have. These are the same things that have influenced what we do and don't tolerate and how we use the words that we do.

I'm no expert in etymology but this is how I see it anyway.

English is the language I most commonly use and the one I feel most comfortable speaking. Ironic since I'm not of any of the native English-speaking races. Technically, English ought to be my second language but the truth is that it's my first and I find it so fascinating that all these native speakers each have their own ways of using the language and on top of that, the non-natives like myself have our own brand of (x)-lish each.

Communication is probably one of humanity's most amazing gifts. A words within a single language can be used in so many ways and mean so many different things to each person or group of people and eventually, they evolve into entirely new expressions. In my native language alone, the mixture of English and Filipino ("Filipino" being a mix in itself of various dialects from all over the country) in our daily language has evolved into different variants, the most prevalent/funniest/confusing being what we call "Gay Speak."

On the flip side, the same dynamism can English majors like me squirm too. Texting and chatting online has developed its own life and brand of language that has turned many students into spelling- and grammar-challenged citizens.

But we'll leave that one for another day.

For now I'll look at this old blog entry by Chantelle, read through the comments, and just smile at the fact that I've once again managed to find a way to travel to another country through reading.

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