It was difficult!

Trying to think of a topic to write about for this first post on the blog.

“Starting is hard,” some people will tell you. Who hasn’t heard?

My retort? “Not starting is harder!” Especially when you are holding back.

I know full well it isn’t about not being able to communicate in English.

There was something else…

What Craig posted on Seek user group

English – The British and American Kind

I reckon this is a good topic for fair comment. Let’s see what bothers me right now…

  • Missing U’s and L’s
  • To Not’s
  • Different Words Meaning the Same

There should be more, but I shall KIV that for next time. Otherwise, this article would be super long!

Where Goes Them U’s and L’s?

“Honor” and “color” just look weird, don’t you think?

Something is missing in them — the letter “U”.

Now, why did the Americans drop that letter? Anything to do with them being more self-centered, so “U” are out?

My take on missing Us spoiling the look of words

Hey, I just made that up 🙂

As I’d commented on Craig’s FB post, dropping the “U” seemed to spoil the look. Fortunately — and the “U” is intact in that word! — they didn’t end up with words such as “och” and “tuch”!

Right now, my lazy brain ain’t thinking of other words like those. But you get the drift.

My reply on FB about missing Us and Ls

And then there’s that “L”.

More to the point, the double-L becomes single in certain cases, like “traveling” and “modeling”.

But “spelling” remains unaltered. What gives?

Doesn’t look like the Yankees followed a strict rule, does it?

Or maybe they did.

Like so: if a word ending with “L” changes form due to grammar, e.g. using the word in the past tense, no need for an extra “L” like the British are fond of adding.

Can anyone verify this?

(So I Googled and found what seemed like a known(?) rule…

Someone mentioned a rule about no double consonnants if 2 or more syllables

To (Not) Be or Not To Be? — But We Aren’t Discussing Shakespearean English

This is one thing that really bugged me. For a very long time now!

What I said about To Not and Not To

In my opinion, it is only proper to say “not to” and not the other way around.

Not to respect this simple order of words is just violating basic tenets of good English!

There are no two ways about it.

If you happen to be a software code writer, please rein in your “if this do that; if not this do another” logic which your programming language may support.

For this is the English language we dealing with!

No, I didn’t try hard to not offend anyone reading this.

I’m saying this emphatically so as not to let the Americans bastardise the English language.

This simple example will help you to be correct all the time:

“I prefer to go early. I prefer not to be late!”

And while we are on the topic of not abusing English, here are some important notes for Americans:

  • “Their” is not the same as “There” — the first word is a possessive case of the pronoun “they”, while the second is an adverb used to refer to places.
    Here’s an example using both words correctly: “That is their turf! Please don’t go there uninvited!!”
  • “Your” is wrong if you really meant to write “You are” in its contracted form, i.e. “You’re”.
    Example: “Your dress is very pretty!” exclaimed Mary. “Thanks, you’re so sweet!” replied Julia.

Incidentally, I found a note I made in my mobile phone late 2015 about some of the things mentioned in this article…

Mobile phone screenshot of late 2015 thoughts about bad English
Making fun of pants and trousers

However, “fish and fries” doesn’t have that ring to it and won’t be instantly recognized as that revered take-away meal of British origin.

Though I must say Long John Silver’s aptly used that term for one of the items on their menu.

But… Cookie Monster shall remain!

One reply mentioned this trait: the British say “trousers” but the Americans prefer theirs as “pants”.

To me, they are all to be put on, so I will use both words interchangeably, without feeling odd.

Someone else pointed out “crisps” versus “chips”. I’m curious — locally, I see fish and chips being served with French fries! So, that again is wrong.

More amusement with chips and crisps... and cookie monster

Amusing English, To Say The Least

Here’s my parting shot…

I’d been taking Chinese herbal medicine lately for my cough. Just now, I’d forgotten one of the twice-a-day doses.

So I exclaimed to my son: “I have not taken my med and there was no coughing for the past few hours!”

To which he replied: “So, what is your deduction?”

My cheeky answer was “I haven’t taken away anything” 🙂

You see, he was asking what I had deduced from not drinking that herbal concoction. But I was going with “deduct”, i.e. to take away something from a total.

Just to tease him; as usual.

Incidentally, there was a pun: to take away also meant to learn a key fact. Which goes back to what my son had asked!

So you see, English itself can be amusing! “Deduce” and “deduct” both have “deduction” as their nouns. It’s less clear if you went the other way, from the noun first.

Why, I just love playing around with this age-old language! Otherwise, being “WittyCulus” would be nothing special 🙂