#Writing Prompt for #SoCS Dec. 10/16: Bear/Bare

Today is Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  You can read more about it on Linda Hill’s blog

My first thought when I saw the word “bear” was this:

Today’s prompt reminded me how easily the bare facts can eliminate the agony of bearing a feeling of inadequacy that isn’t necessary. 

Anyone who has studied languages understands there are idiosyncrasies and colloquialisms.  If I tell someone from my generation, “He bought the farm,” s/he’ll know what that means.  

Someone from another country might make the mistake of asking, “Where did he move too?”

The pat answer, one sure to make my compatriot giggle is, “Forest Lawn.”

In the USA, “He bought the farm” means that he died, and “Forest Lawn” is a popular name for a cemetery.  

Add that to the fact that people born in the USA can differentiate between bear, bare, bore, bar and beer by either context or sound, and the sound may not exist in another person’s language, it can be very frustrating.

Did you know that differences in sounds of a language and colloquialisms can happen within languages, too?  In the USA, people from the deep south have to tell by context if you’re talking about a bin or you have been somewhere. Bin and been aren’t the only problems.

When I married my 2nd husband, the one problem that irritated him most was the fact that when he said, “Could you get me a pen,” I’d ask, “which kind, a straight pin or a writing pen.”

“Can’t you hear the difference?”  He’d scold me.

I felt so inadequate.  My sister saved my self-esteem.  She has a master’s degree in linguistics. One of the first things she learned about was why people from the deep south can’t tell the difference between the “i” in pin and the “e” in pen.  Once she explained it to him, he stopped trying me make me hear it.

In the USA, we don’t roll our “r’ when we speak English, nor do with use clicking sounds when we speak.  If we try saying Ahmed the way it’s pronounced in Arabic.

 Remember this the next time someone laughs at your pronunciation.  Then ask them to say, ‘She sells sea shells, Castile castle selling seashore sea shells, convoluted absolutely, perseverate recidivism’ in 5 seconds.

If I can learn that, so can you, and you can laugh as hearty, too.   🙂