Random thoughts from a random mind

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

Idioms or metaphors?

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..

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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.

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

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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?

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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.)

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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. 

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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.

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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).

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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 . 

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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.

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What song lyrics do you get wrong?

I don’t know about you but I never get the words right in songs. I like to sing along to my favourite tunes but often am told that I have the lyrics wrong. Actually, in my head the words are right, but knowing what I’m like for mixing up my sayings, it’s inevitable I’m wrong. It’s ok though because  I’m getting used to being incorrect now. After all I’ve been wrong for years. When I was a teenager I used to hate being told that I was singing incorrectly. I always disagreed and carried on regardless. Now I’m older, I don’t mind not being right, it doesn’t matter. I have to say though, I do make myself look stupid sometimes.

So what words have I mistakenly put in songs? Well there are many, like this one for instance, ‘You had me, you lost me, you wasted your coffee!!’ Joss Stone. Actually I’m not sure what the real words are now. Maybe you know.

Then there’s that Ricky Martin son ‘Living the Vida Loca’ where he sings her ‘hips are devil red’ when it’s really her’ lips’ that are devil red

I did ask my daughter of the ones that she’d always corrected me on, but she could only think of a few but said that there were lots.

For some reason I always think Beyonce is singing ‘I’m a single ex’ when she is, in fact, singing ‘All the single ladies.’ Having said that, you listen to her sing it and see what you think.

I’m not the only one to get my words mixed up though. My daughter used to sing Maddison Avenue’s ‘Don’t Call Me Baby,’ and the second line would be ‘a-nah, a-nih, a-neh, a-nah, a-neh, a-noo.’ Mind you she was only young so she had an excuse.

I’m sure there are millions of people singing the words wrong to millions of songs. I would love to find out what those songs and mistakes were so if you do read this and you don’t mind sharing them with me I would love to have a giggle reading them.

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