Thursday, January 7, 2010

The English Language (with apologies to my friend Becky who is an English teacher)

No I am not going to write about Noun, Verb agreement. I am not going to talk about how a preposition is "anything a cat can do". I just wanted to talk about three little words that over the past week have come up.

Word number One: Balsamic
I LOVE Balsamic Vinegar! I mean love, love, love it! I will pay excessive prices to have the stuff on my shelf because I think it is THAT good! I recently bought a bottle of Creamy Balsamic salad dressing to try! Well the other night was that night. So, with all of us at the table Alexis (my 7 year old) watched me pour dressing onto my salad. She couldn't help but notice the creamy chocolate type color and was intrigued. She asked what kind of dressing it was and when I told her it was Balsamic she sat for a minute and then said, "Balsamic...I like the sound of that word!" Maybe it is just me, but that tickled me. How grown up sounding for her to say something like "I like the sound of that word!" Hehehe! I thought it was cute!

Word number Two: Eccentric
Without admitting it, how many of you know the meaning of the word Eccentric? Webster defines it as a : deviating from an established or usual pattern or style b : deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways . I like to use this word to describe myself at times and used it the other day with a our Schwans man. I was telling him that sometimes I come across as a little Eccentric for some people. He paused for a minute and said, "that is a big word what does it mean?" I chuckled and he then said, "I'm serious, what does it mean?" Hmmm, I did not quote Webster but told him that sometimes I can be a little bit too outgoing or have bolder thoughts than some people. He accepted my "definition" and we went on to getting me my good food! :-)

Word number Three:
After posting on Facebook that my husband is going to be gainfully employed again, one of my High School friends posted how she was glad for me but understood the situation by saying that she could Commiserate! Who would use the word Commiserate? A very intelligent friend of mine that I went to High School with, that's who! Thankfully, I did not have to consult Webster to know the definition, I understood what she said! :-)

All of this to say...finally the point!
I sometimes wonder if we are losing some great words from our English language as time goes by?! Not that Balsamic, Eccentric, and Commiserate are such profound words BUT, it makes me sad to think about how many people out there probably don't know those words or what they refer to? Instead they use 4 letter words and contractions like ain't, nothin', and gonna!? Nothing wrong with those words, I just wish we could be a little bit more proper at times...somewhere between, Pride and Prejudice English and Today's English (or what is left of it!)


Sara Frawley said...

Now that's food for thought! I definately concur! Have a great night. I'm eagerly anticipating your next entry!

AfricaBleu said...

Ah, a post I can sink my teeth into. :)
First, I never, never correct other people's English unless I'm being paid to do so--unless I'm editing a paper for you or correcting a paper in my class, I'm off the clock. So no worries there, ever.

Second, I fear that texting is killing the English language. I tell my freshman in college that the one way to ensure a really awful grade (and a ticket straight to my bad side) is to use text language in their papers. I'm afraid kids today are growing up really believing that "u" is how you spell "you," and "lol" is all there is to the phrase, "Laugh out loud."

I call texting the Armageddon of the English language, and I am may be curmudgeon about it (there's a good word for you), but I'm an unapologetic curmudgeon. USE WHOLE WORDS, PEOPLE!!

Sarah said...

So glad to see you posted again!! I couldn't agree more. These teenagers around here drive me crazy. I'm afraid to know how bad it will be when my boys are that age!
Can you find Star brand Balsamic Vinegar there? If so, let me send you a couple of coupons for some free ones!

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