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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Funny Language

The other day I had a random memory. When I was working for the Japanese bicycle tubing company a customer called regarding an accounting error. He asked about a payment and I checked the computer program because I actually remembered the transaction and figured the exact information should have been posted where it was supposed to be posted.
Silly me.
When I couldn’t find it I commented, “That’s funny.”

The next day we received a multi-paragraph rant via fax (pre e-mail days, for you internet children) from said customer about how my response was totally inappropriate. Huh?
He continued to rail on me for commenting that it was “Hilarious” that a payment had not been posted.
I meant funny-odd, Moron, not funny-haha!

Why does this simple example of semantics still bother me? Who knows. What I do know is that I still seem to come across the Semantically Stifled much too often! English is a difficult language to learn. When you incorporate the slang and idioms you really have a mess on your hands! I get so frustrated by people who don’t understand what I’m talking about because they don’t know the true meaning of the words in their own language. Now, I admit, I have been known to use words incorrectly, but not very often. Really.

I suppose part of the problem is that some of us (ahem!) sometimes use our “own lingo” then expect others to understand us. I know I like to add –ish and –age to the end of words a lot.

“Sure, I’ll be there around noon-ish.”
“That recipe is a kind of casserole-ish dinner.”
“I didn’t want to take my DMV picture with that monstrous zit-age growing on my forehead.”

That sort of thing.
Sometimes it can really cut down on the amount of words you need to use. Or better yet, remove entire sentences from you statement. I like that ish…

Unfortunately, it is confusing. I suppose.

1 comment:

  1. Language is funny. It annoys me when people try to use "big words" to make themselves feel important. Especially when they use the words wrong. I have a pretty good vocabulary and rarely get lost when others are speaking. But I have no filter so if I offended someone with something like "that's funny" then I would probably insult them with words or phrases that would go right over their head, lol.


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