I just love words. I love love love our language.
I squeak with delight at onomatopoeia.
I delight dearly in a deluge of alliteration
I find similes to be as wonderful as bouncy, wooly sheep.
And a metaphor is just a cool shower on a hot day.
Personification calls out to me, pleased at my laughter.
And I am never bored with refrain. Never, never bored with refrain.
But what I am especially thankful for is that I didn’t have to learn this language as a second language.
I simply cannot imagine. With apologies to Gallagher:
“So c-o-m-e is ‘comb’?”
You know the response.
“Oh, so h-o-m-e is ‘hum’?”
In college, a textbook correctly asserting that English is weird demonstrated with the word “ghoti.” You know, one of those little finned things swimming around in that bowl on your table. You know, like Nemo.
ghoti: gh – “f” as in enough; o – “i” as in women; ti – “sh” as in nation
The complexity of our language is a set-up for failure, and, truthfully, errors abound even in PDW (public displays of writing). And I am not exempt. I don’t claim to be the grammar police or a Steven Pinker. I know my writing has too many errors, even after repeated sweeps through. I use “that” too often and end too many sentences with prepositions. And begin too many with coordinating conjunctions.
And then there are the buggers (boogers?) who (which?) (that?) get me every time: lie vs. lay, sit vs. sat, and how to spell embarrass, which is embarrassing.
But I do so love this language. I can only imagine what my face looked like to other drivers this morning when I reacted to a masterful Shakespearean phrase in a recording of Julius Caesar. On my Kindle, I’m reading a memoir in which the writer uses sparse and powerful prose to help me feel her despair, and this morning in the book of Hosea I was struck by an especially touching description of God’s love for his children.
I may not be a true wordsmith, certainly not a linguist, belletrist, litterateur, or lexicologist.
I’m just a language lover, a word addict. And I ain’t lookin for no cure.