Burmese word for “Burmese (spoken) language” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
American slang, doncha love it? Succinct forms of expression = slang. Winnie Churchill is said to have uttered…Americans and English…two people separated by a common language.
One of my Spanish professors said the first thing most us studying a foreign language learn is the slang. Apparently, Americans are not the only people who use slang because she taught us many verboten expressions.
I am one whose writing is far more eloquent than her spoken language. I can always identify the snobs among us…they correct your speech. I’m sorry to say, I have done it too, only to be corrected by the person whom I corrected.
One person or another corrected my speech at the Census Bureau where I worked with over-educated upper-middle-class people. One day, I asked one of my old bosses (from Buffalo NY) if he thought I had a Southern accent, and he said ’a little bit.’
Take the word ‘got’ for example. An ex-husband (the one from New Jersey) corrected my speech constantly. He particularly hated it when I mixed up pitchers with pictures. When he heard me use the word, ‘got’ he had a fit.
Krutch Park, Knoxville, TN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
He also corrected my driving, probably one reason we are no longer together.
He complained about the route I took to retrieve my daughter from high school (in the old days, I said “I’m gonna get my daughter from school”). He said the route I took was hard on the tires.
He corrected the way I adjusted the rearview mirror too. Said I was going to wear it out because I moved it. The marriage, such as it was, fell apart after I left his car in Tennessee and he had to fly to Knoxville to retrieve it….a story I told in my blog last year.
My daughter, who is a linguist, says ‘got’ is a perfectly good old English word. My granddaughter, who hangs out with farmers, says ‘gitten.’ As in, ‘I’m gitten over a cold.’ I teased her about it one day, and then realized I use the same word, for example, when I say, “I’m gitten hot.”
I have found it impossible to root out the language I learned as a child
kid. My parents may have been Yankees, but my northern cousins could never tease the southern lingo out of my speech. Neither could those nuns from Philadelphia I had in grade school.
I couldn’t hear myself for a long time. Because we were constantly giving speeches to dignitaries (I once testified before Congress and did about as well as Chuck Hegel), my boss at Bell arranged for a team of advisors to come from New York and work with his staff to improve our speech-making. When I saw myself on video, it was like looking at a foreign person.
David says I always gave great presentations, probably why we are still married.
One day, David was teasing his mother about her Russian accent. She turned to him and said, “I speak four languages, how many do you speak?”
He had a good meeting yesterday. Two fellows, at the meeting, had more sobriety than he did..one 80 year old guy had 40 years another 36 years. So, he was in the right place at the right time.