Funny Thing About English…

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Funny Thing About English…

Random Letters
Thomas Hawk / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

UPDATE: Another ‘oldie but goodie’ post I am bringing back to life. I just read an article the other day that asked why someone would wear sandals when there was no sand. I thought of this post…

The English language can be a funny thing. I was out shopping today and saw a sign that said, ‘Kids Sale’. It just struck me as funny. My first thought was that I am not in the market to purchase any kids. That then led me to think about ‘garage sale’ and how I am not in the market for one of those either. Yes. It’s all just plain silly. But it made me think about how odd our language can be and how it can actually cause miscommunication.

In some areas of the country they have their own sort of dialect. For instance: I want to turn up the volume on the car radio. Some people would say to ‘turn it up’. Others would say ‘make it bigger’. Some of us drink a Coke and call it ‘pop’ and some of us call it ‘soda’. Be careful… that whole ‘soda’ thing can get you in trouble if you really want a Coke / pop and you order a soda. Yucky…

Some of us have a ‘driveway’ to park our car. Think about it. DRIVE way. We drive on a ‘highway’. Shouldn’t we be driving on a driveway instead of on a highway? Not sure where the ‘high’ comes in on that one.

Not all that long ago Susan Cooper over at Finding Our Way Now had a post discussing the word ‘stuff’. Check it out…

Have you ever had an experience where your use of our language actually caused a miscommunication? You ordered soda when you wanted pop and actually got soda! Oops..

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Comments (12)

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  1. Dan Meyers says:

    Totally agree – I'm glad I learned English as a first language… couldn't imagine trying to learn it as a second language. When you make it colder in your house, do you turn the A/C up or down? 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      You are so right! I gave up trying to figure out that whole A/C thing a long time ago. LOL

  2. findingourwaynow says:

    That is so true. We have had a number of exchanged student and we would find ourselves trying to explain what something really meant as apposed to the literal meaning. Sometimes those conversation were down right hilarious. 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      The English language does make for some good laughs I think. 🙂 You must have had some good exposure to all the strange quirks while trying to actually explain them.

  3. JeriWB says:

    I'm reminded of some of the language-themed bits in the comedian's Gallagher's stand-up routines. George Carlin is another that comes to mind. It's fun to teach ESL students about colloquelisms. Language is so fickle and yet so amazing in its many variations

    • Geek Girl says:

      Interesting, fickle, amusing… That's language alright.

  4. Worse than the highway is when you drive on the parkway. One of my favorites to find is common use words that mean the complete opposite of their intention. A common one lately is unthaw. Which would mean freeze in most situations. I have found it common for people to use that to mean they are thawing out food from the freezer.

    • Geek Girl says:

      That's a good one! 🙂

  5. findingourwaynow says:

    Oh and thank you for the shout-out. :-)))

  6. I love thinking about these! I've definitely gotten into some strange situations while traveling and trying to explain an English word or two 🙂

  7. Susan Oakes says:

    For some reason just before I read your post I picked up a bag of cat littler and now realise it is a weird description of the product.

  8. Haha what a great post. I too have often wondered about our English language also. It must be so hard for people to come to this country and try to learn our way of speak. Even proper English speakers from Europe use words that we are not familiar with. For example, holiday is used instead of vacation.