Posted in Life + Living

A bit of fun with words

This morning I woke up with a few things on my mind… Giselle Rosselli keeps repeating how she ‘walk[ed] into the room dripping in gold’ while the choir warm-up of ‘diction is done with the tip of the tongue and the teeth’ trails a happy cadence through my thoughts. I enjoy it less each time it repeats, especially since I’m TRYING to think of homonyms and other things in the English language that would be confusing to someone learning English as a second language.  Things like how we park on a driveway, but drive on a parkway.

I know there’s an infographic out there that I’ve seen on this subject very recently… How’s about I go find that while we listen to Flight Facilities – Crave You?  I find the best way to get a song OUT of my head is to listen to it:

Oops.  I got lost on the internet for a minute there.  I didn’t find the graphic, but somehow I stumbled upon a mash-up of Gangam Style and Harlem Shake.  *shakes head vigorously to prevent either song from sticking*

Even though I couldn’t find the graphic I was thinking of, I did find a few phrases that I enjoy.   My next speech in Toastmasters is supposed to highlight the varying ways to communicate your message by varying pitch, tone, and volume.  I’m already such an expressive speaker, though, that I’d like to poke fun at the English language.  The speech project is called ‘how you say it’ so I thought it might be fun to question how we say things. Here are some of the phrases/questions I’ve rounded up:

Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?

Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?

Why is it that when you transport something by car, it’s called a shipment, but when you transport something by ship, it’s called cargo?

Why does your nose run and your feet smell?

Why does an alarm clock “go off” when it comes on?

Why call it a building if it’s already been built?

Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?

If ATM stands for Automatic Teller Machine, why do we call it an ATM machine? And if PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, why do we call it a PIN number?

If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?

If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?

If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, how do they get baby oil?

Why is it called “rush hour” when your car barely moves?

If you have any more, please post them in the comments 🙂


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4 thoughts on “A bit of fun with words

  1. My mom has all these word usage pet peeves that have really contributed to how insane I am about grammar/spelling/usage/writing/pretty much everything in life. One of her big ones was “PIN number” or “ATM machine,” and things like that. Now anytime I hear somebody do it, my brain goes all “WRONG WRONG WRONG.”

    1. lol, Aileen! Me too! I work in a business where we deal with PINs daily and so I hear “PIN Number” in the cube-farm all the time and it drives me nutty.

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