Tongue in Cheek Trivia #2

Oh my Wordy! Mustering up a post here while I remember I had intended more regular effort and quite shocked to realise it’s so long since I’ve even tried. At this blog at least.

I’ve been busy elsewhere, posting for the A to Z Challenge at my other blog, The Wishing Well, aiming for short posts and lots of blog-hopping to read from others in the challenge. You can scroll through those posts at this link if you’d like to see those:

MUSTER was one of my title words for today. My daughter’s dictionary is one of the stock-mountain bargain book-seller’s products I’m currently cussing while finding irrelevant foreign language pervades much of our home reference library as well as online content and no wonder I’m somehow stuck for finding meaning while American English language masquerades as English.

The meaning for muster in that dictionary only relates to military context. But in England, we muster up courage, or muster a kind word, muster a smile, muster up lunch etc etc. &tc even, if you prefer.

i get a bit fed up reading things like others talking of (in writing), ‘the British superiority complex’ whilst our British English language is seemingly so undermined by attempts to Americanise our native language use. Supremacists and elitists (and/or well-meaning academics and business leaders) not having the intelligence or being too lazy to manage the variant uses and multiplicities in meaning of international English forms and seeking conformity to standardisation really gets my goat. It (ie. attempts to force British/English compliance with a non-English native tongue) impedes our creativity, denies our cultural and multi-cultural identities and allows further misappropriation to meanings of histories and textual documentations to infer an entirely different retrospective interpretation at odds with original meanings.

It is however, quite interesting to learn such differences and I don’t mean to get irate and defensive about it. Although it sometimes somehow seems absolutely necessary. Non-English people struggling with the complexities of English language is just a fact of life.

My copy of the Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists, from the 1990s as a college reading list item,  keeps throwing in my face incorrect spellings, lacking reference text to entirely relevant artists and giving only very brief entries. MOTIF spelt MOTIVE just seems totally dumb and is dumbfounding! I can’t believe I didn’t notice earlier. or did I?

It seems Merriam Webster has a lot to answer for and to, including what appears to be a hatred for the British/English and our native language. Hence the alternative American language design came about. And I’ve nothing really against the American language, i’d just like to take a red pen and correct all those mis-spellings in all those mis-sold products that have contravened the Trade Descriptions Act  and the Consumer Protection Act in my home country. Knowing that academic institutions have been assisting in this threat to the native English language for all these three decades and more is incredibly disappointing. Money-grabbing jobsworths!

I don’t mind reading American language texts. I quite enjoy the challenge. I sometimes have to stop and think how to make sense of simple short phrasings that make no sense until I think about that different linguistic pattern and the strange and unfamiliar grammatical forms. But I will be more careful with any books and magazines I might buy to check that I really do want them and be sure i’m getting what I expect at the point of sale.

I feel cheated when I realise literary products sold in my country are not clearly labelled as non-English texts. I purchased a magazine recently enough that I expected to be the usual quality of English women’s magazines only to find it was five times the expected price (having been shelved with similar magazines priced between 70p and £2) and was poorly written and contained adverts for shoddy looking goods also five times a usual fair price. It was also factually incorrect and written in Americanised language. Such consumer goods for sale in the UK should be clearly labelled as ‘foreign language’. It’s completely misleading otherwise.

Oh my wordy I didn’t mean to have another language rant! The word (apart from MUSTER) that I intended posting has escaped me again! 707 words and counting, i’m outa here, until next time…