Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The L words

For some reason during my swim today I was saying these words to myself, and wondering how anyone learns English that didn't grow up speaking it. In no particular order:

LEED (a Canadian environmental building standards certification.)
led (noun, a kind of light bulb)
led (verb, past tense of lead the verb)
lead (noun, the soft metal)
lead (verb, what you do for a group when you are the one who knows the way.)
lede (journalist term for the most important part of the story.)
Leyte (the Gulf)
lote (A small spiny shrub in Mexico, also called Texas Buckthorn.)
lode (As in the mother.)

These aren't even the most complicated sounds in English, just a bunch of really similar ones, most of which are in common use. It would completely screw up my vocabulary, but there are lots of days I wish we could revise the language so that one could reliably know how to pronounce a word seen in print, or the reverse, spell a word said to you. Don't get me started on aluminum and aluminium, or program and programme.

The damnyouautocorrect alternately enrage and pleases me. Often I know what word I want, and I spelled it right, but the impudent machine changes it. Sometimes it fixes things that I've deliberately typed wrong knowing it would fix it, but this is a slow learning process. Then there are the times my fingers know I've typed something wrong, and they hit the back button the right number of times, except that during that time the damnyouautocorrect has changed it and my back space just makes it worse. Then there are the words I can't spell, or even start them enough for it to suggest a word to me. Like (I hesitate here, knowing what I'm getting into) rhythm. I have a brutal time with that word, and try not to use it because it's so hard for me to spell. I normally have to look it up, and even using a computer it's easier for me to think of a different word, or even rewrite that paragraph.

One of the games that BRBE and I like to play sometimes is to dictate to the phone and send a text message without editing it. Just think about that for a few minutes. I don't think there is anyone else I'd do that with.

These trees have nothing to do with my word thoughts today. I've put them here out of whimsey. They were taken during a really windy morning walk a while ago. These first two trees are the last of a small bush that used to be on the SE corner of Anderson and 37th St. It's been sort of sad to see the trees and bush around here disappear as more houses go in and roads get wider. I think I'll go down to Fish Creek for a walk and hang out with some trees for a while.

The swim was ok, once I got there. But when I first woke up and looked outside, I wanted to go back to bed. Minus 26 C has a way of doing that to you. It was only my promise to feed some kitties while their servants are on vacation that got me up and out of the house. Once out, of course, it was easy to go to the pool. I even got to chat with some buddies there.

1 comment:

  1. Gosh, I really love the first shot, Keith. The colours and mood are lovely. Minus 26? Seriously? It was 5 degrees here when we took puppy for a run yesterday. Sorry. I don't suppose you want to hear that.


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