Sunday, 17 November 2013

The pregnant pause

 


The pregnant pause
17 November 2013

English is a strange language.  It really is.

There/their are/”R” so/sew many meanings for/four/fore certain words, even though they’re spelt exactly the same.  Others are spelt differently, but/butt they sound exactly the same.  It’s/its rather confusing at/@ times/thymes.  If you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh/yew sea/see what I/eye mean.  The biggest problem normally comes in/Inn, when you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh/yew have to/two/too write/right/rite these words down.  Then it can be/bee quite difficult to/two/too wrap/rap your head around them.  You/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh/yew know/no just/gist what I’m talking about, right/write/rite?  But/butt if you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh have a flair/flare for/four/fore writing, then you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh should be/bee safe.  Though if in doubt, just/gist use/ewes a dictionary to/two/too your aid/aide.  It will/Will give you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh/yew great/grate insight/incite.  And piece/peace by/bye piece/peace, you’ll/Yule figure it out.  Perseverance is key/quay.  Patience/patients important.  So/sew don’t give up and groan/grown or/oar/ore moan.  Bare/bear with it.  Real/reel soon, you’ll/Yule get the hang of it.  Therefore/their four, you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh need/knead to/two/too choose/chews carefully, what you/ewe/hew/hue/Hugh say and write/right/rite.  Rule of thumb is to/two/too go by/bye sight/site/cite.  Mistakes are mostly minor/miner.  And given due/do diligence, before long, you’ll/Yule be/bee writing an/Anne ode/owed of your own.

Yip, English sure is peculiar.

But perhaps, oddest of all, is her sayings.

Amongst others, “the pregnant pause”.

And I’ve never really properly identified one.  What does it look like?  What are its defining characteristics? 

Is it slightly fatter than a normal pause?  Perhaps more pear-shaped?  Does it have swollen feet?  Maybe some heartburn?  Battle with water retention?

But just maybe those questions, are not all that important after all.  Cause surely the real clincher is this:

What does it give birth to?  A full stop?  Maybe multiples, like the colon?  Which would obviously qualify as identical twins.  Perhaps the semi-colon?  Fraternal twins for sure.  A difficult child, like a question mark?  Or one suffering from ADHD – the exclamation mark?

Isn’t it funny, how we know exactly what the term “pregnant pause” means.  Yet if we’re quiet and listen to how it sounds, it’s really rather strange. 

Imagine trying to explain the term to a small child.  Or a foreigner.  How difficult it would be.

Yet at the same time, it is so wonderfully descriptive.  That extra length one gives, for ….. dramatic effect.  Kind of creating some antici…..pation.  If you catch my drift.

And we indulge in these so easily, because we understand them.  Our grasp of the spoken word, as learnt from our childhood, prepares us for all of these anomalies.  We barely think of them, so naturally do they come.

Yet I must confess, that strange though she might be, I’ve fallen in love with English for sure.  She’s lured me with her siren songs of evocative, beautiful words. 

And I’ve got a collection of my very favourite ones.  Perhaps one day, I’ll weave them into a blog, using them all.

Which could be a rather delectable problem to have.  How to string together words like incumbent, transcendental, scintillating, lugubrious, so that they all make sense/cents together.

I quite simply can’t wait/weight!

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1 comment:

  1. Incredible language........
    Quite a challenge to teach.

    ReplyDelete