Do you speak English?

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We all know for sure, our English language is crazy and difficult to understand even for those who grew up speaking it. No wonder so many people who speak English as a second language complain about our idiosyncrasies.
For example, in the word scent, is the s silent or is it the c? Why is there a d in the word fridge, but not in refrigerator? (One of our sons when young called it a frigeator.)
Then we have interesting questions like, why isn’t a fireman called a waterman? How come lipstick doesn’t do what it says? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a humanitarian eat? Why are goods sent by ship called cargo and those sent by truck called a shipment? Why do we put cups in the dishwasher and dishes in the cupboard?
OK, you get the point and I’m sure you can come up with another 100 examples of these. Now we come to the word, acyrologia. I am betting you are not familiar with this word. I work with words every day in my job, but it was a new one to me. It means inexact, inappropriate or improper use of a word.
Of course we are all striving to use the right words at the right time because we don’t want to seem uneducated. Here’s a paragraph you will be very interested in. It’s a little bit of a brain tease, also. See if you can find the incorrectly spelled or improperly used words, and after you’ve read it, I’ll be back with some tips.
“Here is an incorrect use of words particulately replacing one word with another word that sounds similar, but has a diffident meaning, possibly fuelled by a deep-seeded desire to sound more educated, witch results in an attempt to pawn off an incorrect word in place of a correct one. In academia, such flaunting of common social morays is seen as almost sorted and might result in the offender becoming a piranha in the Monday world. After all is set and done, such a miner era will often leave people unphased. This is just as well sense people of that elk are unlikely to tow the line irregardless of any attempt to better educate them. A small percentage, however, suffer from severe acyrologiaphobia and it is their upmost desire to see English used properly. Exposure may cause them symptoms that may resemble post-dramatic stress disorder and eventually descend into whole-scale outrage as they go star-craving mad. Eventually, they will succumb to the stings and arrows of such a barrage and suffer a complete metal breakdown, leaving them curled up in the feeble position.”
Since you now may be laughing at the obvious misuse or misspelling of words here, please make a note of them, in order, and see if we have the same results. I won’t be surprised if you miss one or two the first time around – I did!
Sometimes even businesses make mistakes on their signs and then many know they need help. On a fast food restaurant sign … “We are closed due to power failure. Apologies for any incontinence caused.”
I recently saw this statement, “Your colon really smells nice.” What? I think a colon never smells good. I’m sure she meant cologne! I’ll also bet you see their, there and they’re used incorrectly almost every day, such as this school sign – “It’s so fun, they won’t even know their learning.” Ouch! Doesn’t anybody proofread that stuff?
Now that you have made your list, here are the improperly used words: 1. particulately (particularly), 2. diffident (different), 3. fuelled (British spelling), 4. deep-seeded (deep-seated), 5. witch (which), 6. morays (mores), 7. sorted (sordid), 8. piranha (pariah), 9. Monday (mundane), 10. set (said), 11. miner (minor), 12. era (error), 13. unphased (unfazed), 14. sense (since), 15. elk (ilk), 16. irregardless (a portmanteau of two words and one source said if you use this you are just plain wrong), 17. upmost (utmost), 18. post-dramatic (post-traumatic), 19. whole-scale (full-scale), 20. star-craving (stark raving), 21. stings (slings), 22. metal (mental) and 23. feeble (fetal).
(Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com)



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