Wednesday, August 29

Gobsnaps

Fabulousity confuddles the fattypuss as he troddles in his waddlesome way and goes nai nai.

Yeah, I'm a crazy cat lady but that's not the point. I get inventive with language to the extent that I become a spoonerising, word smushing loonie. I'm not alone in this.

Language is an ever-developing thing. Focusing on English (because that's what I have to work with) there has been much change since grunt grunt and Ye Olde.

Unless you're a ponce fancy pants, you probably stared at Shakespearean plays in school with no idea what the characters were blathering on about. The exception comes with plain-spoken language that incorporates modern phases and words we know well. Plenty of those familiar terms were ones Shakespeare made up.

Yep, Ye Olde Will made up words. The words you were able to understand are the ones her pulled out of his arse. I mean...his shiny head.

He's not the only one to make tosh up. 'The Jabberwocky' by Lewis Carroll is comprised of nonsensical words that sound good. Perhaps this was Carroll getting high or maybe he was just proving that a good poetic rhythm and structure can trump the need for any theme or message. I'm sure English teachers can squeeze a meaning out of it, like blood from a rock.

On one hand, the smooshing and spoonerising of words is creative and fun - but at what point is it anti-productive?

I'm often confronted with words which substitute a "c" or "ch" with a "k" in situations that promote directly to children who are learning to read. Is it kool to mislead children on spelling from such a young age?

The characters in Rugrats (being babies) often mispronounce or misinterpret words. This is an accurate reflection (though not all toddlers are as articulate) of how children learn through listening and context. However, when life imitates art you have kids repeating the skewered pronunciations of television characters.

Dr. Seuss is renowned for his signature rhythmic style and his creativity with words. Do words like Sneetches and Thneed confuse a budding reader or do they blossom a child's creativity? Methinks if Seuss had stuck with "real" words, he would have been screwed. Using an actual ethnic/physical difference in people or blaming a specific product for harming the environment wouldn't have gone done well. Loggers were displeased as it was - and they weren't even making thneeds!

If I had to draw a line, I'd say that making up words is inventive and lacks harm but misspelling established words as a habit or to stamp a trademark is a bit daft.

What are your thoughts?

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