Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Word is Just a Word....Or is It?

As most of you know....I teach....Spanish.  Usually from day one my students begin asking...."Señora, howcome their language is so hard?"  "Why do they have such silly rules?"  This is actually a day in and day out occurance.  Yet, it is about that time that I always stop and provide a small lesson in silly and hard. If we were to view this honestly....the kids fuss about using the adjective after the noun...for example, Es un chico divertido.  He is a fun boy.  Not such a biggie....but it drives them nuts.  So...lets look at our own language this morning.  Humm...let's see where to start....we have tough, bough, and cough, and dough.  They are all spelled just alike....yet none of them sound the same.  What is the deal here?  We are the only country where you have to be present to get the present.  What is with this?  Same word....two different meanings.  I usually write "Lead" on the board about this time and get them to tell me what the word is....they usually all shout, "LEEEEEEEEd".  Nope I reply, it is the "lead" of a pencil. (If they say lead...then I do the Leeeeed word).  I love being a teacher sometimes....you can so mess with people.  English is full of word traps.  My favorite is knight/night/nite.  They all sound the same....knight...for someone from another country is hard....they want to pronounce the "k".  Even English language speakers when they are first learning to read....pronounce the letter too.  One of my favorite stories is about a friend teaching her daughter to read...."God is good."  "God gives good food."  Ok...think about it....you have just taught the "good" word phonetically....and then you hit the child with the word "food?"  In a child's mind it should be the same.  Then of course you have the words goose and choose, word and sword, rose, lose and dose.  We make the plural of mouse, mice....but why isn't the plural or house, hice?  One moose, two moose....but one goose, two geese?  The word dead is pronounced like the thing we sleep on called a bed....NOT like the word bead, the thing we use to make jewelry from.  I got a card last week.....but my student is a ward (or sound) of the state.  We park in driveways....and drive on parkways....and my kids are calling another language confusing and silly? 
I think not!  Can you think of some other silly rules and words we use.  Leave me a comment and share.  I collect them....because I have always been fascinated by words....AND they come in handy in class.  Have a happy Thursday!

4 comments:

The Bug said...

My dad was just talking about this last night - he says he no longer cares whether people know how to spell just as long as you can understand what they mean :)

LadnersLatest said...

In reality, English is SO Much more complicated than Spanish :)

Mary said...

Can't think of any off of the top of my head, but you're so right! I thought Spanish was quite easy to learn!
I love to be able to mess with people...just a little bit! :D

Ms. Marty said...

Back in the dark ages when I took Spanish in college (0nly one year), my instructor made the same type comments you did. He wrote the work "quick" on the board and asked us to pronounce - kwik. Then he wrote "Buick." He wanted to know if it was a "kwik Bic" or a "quick Buick." Actually, I found Spanish a rather easy language. Too bad I did not retain it.