Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In otter words...

I love the English language. Words, their shape and sound: their proper and improper usage, whether in Standard English, AAVE, "Milwaukee Sous'ide" talk, or the way new learners of English sound when first becoming confident; words on a printed page or on a computer screen; letters masterfully arranged on a Scrabble board; words carefully chosen and artfully spoken. I love it all.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Estabrook Park Dam Public Hearing on the 24th.

"...the most freshest body of water in the world!" -The Harbormaster, speaking of The Great Lakes

"...the trees and debris and the flooding upstream" -neighbor/dam supporter (I want to note that she pronounced it "dabreeze" which added to its poetry- try saying it aloud.)

"Urban rivers must be considered in the context of the city which they run through." -Riverkeeper

Ah, yes- me gusta mucho el ingles.


Erik Helm said...

The English language is under siege by the younger technology generation.
Full sentences, grammatical correctness,and the ability to write with a pen or pencil may become things of the past.

"Like, English is like so dull, and stuff." Like, we should just text and twitter, 'cause, like, it's like, cooler you know?....and stuff."


The River Otter said...

I am just as guilty of peppering my speech with like and and stuff. It is reassuring to know that other languages have "fillers" as well- for example, Spanish speakers use pues. English? Dull? LOL Francine Prose's Book Reading Like a Writer is an awesome (there I go!), meaty read.

Erik Helm said...

You may also enjoy 'Eats, shoots, and leaves' by Lynn Truss. Grammatical fun!

And yes, with the fillers such as 'like' all around us, it is so difficult not to lapse and begin to speak 'Valley'.