Random thoughts from a random mind

I don't suffer from randomness… I, obviously, quite enjoy it!!

Idioms or metaphors?

on May 6, 2013

As an English speaker, I often wonder how easy this language is to learn for foreign learners.

If I was actually learning English myself, I know I would be confused with the antonyms,synonyms, oxymorons and euphemisms etc..

-0-

So if I’m confused I expect many more of us are too.

What makes it so difficult to learn is the different rules we follow to put our sentences together.

-0-

We have words that are spelled the same but have different meanings (homographs)  or words that sound the same but spelled differently (homophones).

-0-

Then there’s there, their and they’re which I know I have used wrongly at some point in my life. Of course there’s to,too and two too. Do you see/sea what I mean?

-0-

In addition to that, we have words that are nouns that can be verbs also. When doing the crossword, it’s sometimes difficult to know if the clue is a noun or a verb which can be confusing sometimes. (Well, to me it can be.)

-0-

There are words that are frequently misspelled such as; embarrassment, guarantee, harassment and parliament. Then there are frequently confused words such as; aural and oral, council and counsel, principal and principle…the list goes on. 

-0-

There are a lot of people who confuse idioms, similes and metaphors and who could blame them.

If someone told me to ‘pull my socks up’ or asked, ‘are you pulling my leg?’ I would understand that they didn’t really want me to do these things as they were just idioms. It would be a completely different story if you were saying these things to a speaker of a foreign language or someone on the autistic spectrum.

-0-

I have worked with autistic children so I know from experience not to use idioms or other figures of speech unless the child understands them. (If they’re very young they probably wouldn’t).

-0-

I once said, ‘I had a frog in my throat’ to an autistic girl and, being scared, screamed at me to get it out!  She’s almost 18 years old now and would be able to realise that I didn’t have an amphibian sitting in my mouth . 

-0-

So, as you can see, English isn’t as easy as pie or a piece of cake.

In fact it’s all Greek to me.

-0-

 

Advertisements