Jever (Did you ever) hear someone use a many syllabled word for a one-syllable meaning? Mariner uses too many syllables sometimes but he means really big words like slubberdegullion, which means ‘unhappy person’.

On the other hand, remember when taking a picture meant sending the film roll away to be developed and during the meantime one would entertain one’s self by singing Snow White’s song, “Someday my prints will come”.

When mariner was a young boy, he often visited his grandmother who had a distinct dialect. She would say zink for sink and “Gawd’ for God. On the other hand, the other grandmother was a German immigrant and she would reverse v and w; for a long time mariner didn’t know it was not viegela but wiegela.

One time, mariner had business in Philadelphia. He visited the old market neighborhood in search of local flavors. He believes that Philadelphians rarely if ever have the need to use hard consonants; the dialect is very slushy.

In primary school the teachers were diligent about teaching grammar and sentence structure and when to use ‘who’ and ‘whom’. In high school he took Latin only to learn it didn’t matter where a word was placed; it was that the suffixes matched.

When mariner was young, he and his friend (now a renowned philologist) would have fun spelling words the way people actually said them. Two common examples are, ‘skoeet’ and ‘prolly’ not to mention ‘jever’.

Poignantly, mariner misses the word ‘gay’. It was a richly nuanced word that combined the sensation of friendly, entertaining and memorable into a three letter word. Today there are those beating the word ‘woke’ into oblivion not only by definition but by tense as well.

It is fortunate that the human brain does not need explicit articulation to shape reason. Unfortunately, it doesn’t even need facts but that’s another post. The point here is that humans need a sloppy, flexible and constantly changing language. It fits the brain so well.

Ancient Mariner

1 thought on “Language

  1. What about jeetjet?
    Not sure any language is sloppy, but he users may be. Case in point. I try to use who and whom correctly, but I’m in a minority. Most speakers of English are happy using who in every case. The language has moved on and I haven’t. So, I don’t think we can say the language and the people are sloppy when they use who everywhere. For hundreds of years people have tried to stop language change. They always fail. Remember the “rules” about split infinitives and never ending a sentence with a preposition?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.