Sunday, April 15, 2007

the langwidge Inglish

Have just been involved in a series of emails repairing a "penfriend" relationship that became momentarily fractured when I unthinkingly wrote "Fuck off, am not dead yet." in reply to a genuinely sympathetic and supportive email (comment, actually. The comments come to me as emails, and can be replied to directly).

Without any supporting visual clues or extra explanation, it was interpreted as a brutal rejection, when all I meant was "stop writing to me, have too many things on my plate to deal with and do not have the time to consider additional attention in detail, am not dead and will get back to you in due course."

The resulting "repair" series of emails reminds me, yet again, what a complex beast "communication" can be.

The more "educated" we become, the more "words" we know, the more we forget that it all began with "posture" (body language, facial expression) and "tone". Whole sentences and paragraphs can be constructed vocally with just the "words" 'ugh', 'ah' and 'oooow'. That, of course, leads off on a sidetrack discussion about music and singing.

Have written previously about "singing" to canines at night .. which is much easier for human vocal chords than "singing" or "whistling" to avians, or "murmuring" to felines .. but that is another long and complex subject.

This post is also prompted by a discussion elsewhere about "framing" science, but am not going to go there (courtesy of a link via Greensmile).

Much depends on "frames of reference". I rather liked a comment somewhere in that discussion which said - more or less - ".. it's all very well putting Frames around something, gives a point to focus on .. but can we please keep the frames transparent and translucid. Locking a subject into solid frame - however ornate - does not allow anywhere for the imagination to go." (nah, just made that one up, but is a sort of summary.)

It's all about words, what do i know. At this point will hand over to me old mate Peter.

The Spelling Chequer on My PC

Eye have a spelling Chequer
It came with my PC
It plainly marques four my revue
Mistakes eye cannot sea
I’ve run this poem threw it
Eye am sure yaw pleas too no
It’s letter perfect in its weigh
My chequer tolled me sew
Sew though eye try with all my mite
Too spell each word just write
And I’d steak my life upon each word eye right
Butt eye still get more wrong than eye get write
When they rote this spelling chequer
Its plane there wires were crossed
Yaw only knead too get it write
Is the dictionary yaw chequer lost


Peter Holt


(PS, Peter. Can I change "Is" to "In" in that last line? .. heh)

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