Wednesday, July 4, 2012

English as a Foreign Language

I’m glad I already speak English because many of the idioms and nuances of our language make it difficult to master. I can’t imagine entering the United States as a non-English speaking person. Think about our silly terms like whatchamacallit, thingamabob, thingamajig and whosit. When memory fails us, we resort to all kinds of interesting placeholders.

Not long ago at a gathering, a lady forgot someone’s name so she referred to an acquaintance as Mrs. Blah Blah. Given our fast-paced, stress-filled lives, it’s a wonder we can remember anything. Substituting Mrs. Blah Blah for a forgotten name seemed like a convenient way to keep the conversation rolling and keep everyone laughing! It’s a good thing the ladies were on friendly terms. Under different circumstances, calling someone Mrs. Blah Blah might cause big trouble and lots of drama.

Emotions boil over quickly when people feel attacked for their English-speaking abilities. If you’re fortunate enough to travel, be it Louisiana or London, the English you hear may sound like a foreign language and you could become the speaker people ridicule. Watch how one soldier handles his communication situation:

With so many accents, dialects and new slang words in America, we could all use subtitle assistance once in a while. What peculiar phrases have you heard recently?


Thewordman said...

Okay, here goes:
Me: "Jeet?"
Cyndy: "Naw, jew?"


Me: "Did you eat?"
Cyndy: "No, did you?"

Dairyizz = There he is
Amagoh, as in "Amagoh to the store later."
Seenchu, as in I seentchu at the mall yesterday
Datanuff, as in "Is datanuff sugar in your coffee?"
Dassunuff, as in "Dassunuff sugar in my coffee."
Fixentu, as in "I'm fixentu go to bed."
Herjew, as in I herjew the first time."
Toejew, as in "I toejew to leave me alone!"
Addytood, as in "I don't like your attitude."

I could go on....

Bethanie said...

Thanks. Good stuff! You "oughtta" publish a dictionary.