I'm Hispanic, and I'm from a little one-horse town, called Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA) with a population of 500,000. I grew up in the worst part of town, near the railroad tracks...where both side of the tracks, were the wrong side of the tracks to come from. Everyone knows that railroads are filthy, noisy, and dangerous!
The neighborhood was mostly Hispanic and Black, and it was a place where fear ruled, etc. I lived in that neighborhood for fourteen years of my life, and during this time, I was always looking over my shoulder, which was a way of life for me! Gangs; drunks; prostitutes; drug-dealers; miss-fits; beggars; and hobos who would jump off the trains and comb the neighborhoods begging for food and money, etc. Other than that...it was a nice place for a youngster to grow up!
At that time, I didn't speak or write the English language well (and still don't) Because of this, I had to learn to speak English as well as I could from a young age. I spoke a mixture of English and Spanish...Spang-lish...is what it is called, and many times I made up words as I went along.
"Even if you do speak correct English...to whom are you going to speak to?" Clearance Darrow
When I was fourteen, my family moved out of this black hole, and into the heights of Albuquerque, where the sub-division was, ironically, called Snow Heights. It was a mostly White neighborhood, and the culture-shock of moving at that time, was tough on me, etc. Kids can be rude and tough to deal with...and they teased me all the time, because of the way I spoke English, which was not very good!
In the White neighborhood, I had to learn how to speak English right away...and speaking Spanish was put on the back-burner, since I didn't need it anymore. Of the ten kids in our family...five boys and five girls...I'm the only one who speaks Spanish, and I am glad to do so, because it has come in handy throughout my life.
One of the best things for me, was the fact that I didn't have to speak Spanish anymore, and I could concentrate on English. The worst part for me, was participating in a class discussion in school, or giving an oral book report! During this time for me, the kids would laugh at me when I gave an oral book report! This was devistating to me, and this problem plagued me throughout middle and high school!
Month by month and year by year, I would listen to others speak the language, and learn from them as how to pronounce words. Writing was another matter, but only my teachers saw my writing, so it wasn't to bad, etc.
"England and America are two countries separted by a common language." George Bernard Shaw
Many years later, when I was in my 40's, I took and completed three writing courses, to try to improve my writing skills, etc. I also wanted to pursue writing into the future and write articles and a book, etc. Writing is something anyone can do until they hang up their sneakers, so completing the writing courses is one of the best things I have ever done for myself. In completing the courses, it has given me much more conficence in my writing, and in putting up my website.
In writing one of my final papers for one of the courses, I wrote a spoof on the English language, and it was rejected by my instructor. My instructor has a Ph.D in communications, and he apparently didn't think it was amusing! I just happen to be in the humor business for the last 40 years, and I find the English language a little humorous...whether it is spoken or written.
When kids are growing up, and learning to speak the language, it can be hilarious! An example, is when my son was growing up and was about 2-3 years old, and learning to speak English. I'll lay down a few words, as he pronounced them way back when...and see if you think they are amusing as well. For example;
The word "cereal." Jason would pronounce it..."sillio."
The city of San Francisco; Jason would pronounce it..."Sanchez-frisco."
The word "watermellon." He would pronounce it..."meller-mellon."
The word "helicoptor." He would pronounce it..."hoptor-coptor."
The words "Christmas tree"...he would pronounce them..."mimis tree."
The words "potatoe chips." He would pronounce them..."chater-chips."
The old television series, entitled "Startsky and Hutch...Jason would pronounce these words..."Starchy and Hutch."
If someone is mowing the lawn...Jason would say, he is "lawnmoring!"
I love this one...
If you wanted a drink...you would say, "I want something to drink." But, not Jason...he would say, "Me want sumpin to wink."
So, as far as I'm concerned, there's a lot of humor in the English language...you just have to listen and look for it!
"No one has a better command of the language, than a person that keeps his mouth shut!" Sam Rayburn
Okay, smarty-pants..let's talk turkey...we'll have a quiz or two as we go along...
Q. Name a large city in the state of Pencilvania"
Spell "numonia" as when you get sick.
Don't forget to spell the word as it sounds!
New Jersey; In that state, the name is pronounced, "New Joisey!"
New York; This state is pronounced, New Yolk.
Window: In the South...the word is pronounced, "winder," and it is spelled the same.
Plumber: Spell it like it sounds...plummer.
Grammar: This word is spelled, "grammer"
Boston: The people who live there, pronounce this city, Baston.
Philibuster; spell it like it sounds...filibuster; which one is spelled rite?
The family took there goodies to the park for the picnic.
Pill: In the South...this word is pronounced, "peel"
Texas: In Texas, this word is pronounced, Taxes!"
Taxes: If you're going to do you taxes in Texas...you would be doing your texas in Taxes!
(doggone it...can you run that by again...it's a little over my head!)
Door; simple enough, right? In the South...this word is pronounced, "doe." Will somebody please close the doe?"
Zerox; (copy machine) Boy, this is a winner! It's supposed to be spelled, "xerox," isn't it? Webster...oh...Webster...can we talk?
"Do your own thing" In the South, it would read like this, "Do your own thang!" So, the word "thing" would be spelled, "thang."
"Drawing on my command of the English language...I said nothing." Robert Benchley
ENTER SLANG...scary, right?
Shake your booty! I don't know if I have a booty to shake?
Sit on it! Sit on what?
Shake your groove-thing! Tell me what my groove-thing is, and I'll shake it! Can I buy one at Wal-Mart?
Hang it on your ear! Why would I want to hang something on my ear?
Put it in a box! What if I don't have a box?
Are you a square or a cube? Huh?
A stick in the mud! If it looks like a duck...
Have you looked in your medicine cabinet, lately? Can you pronounce or spell any of your medications? Of course not! How do farmacy students do it! What would a farmacy spelling test look like? Scary, isn't it?
right; rite; write; deer; dear; doe; dough; Have you ever written a Deer John letter? Your either rite or wrong!
"Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain." Lily Tomlin
Dr. McCollister (writing instructor) rejected my final paper, and that final paper was similar to this piece. Young people and beginning writers out there, have to realize that they're not going to win them all...and they should get their writings out before the public and let the general public decide their fate, etc. If you only rely on one person's opinion...you might wind up in the Funny Farm with me, etc.
In closing...(thank God!) I have only one word that describes the English language...
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Copyright; 2008; Jerry Aragon/The Humor Doctor
Website name; humordoctormd