Friday, 28 August 2009

Shades and Shadows of the English Language

I am a copywriter by profession. And because I enjoy writing, I enjoy language and all its nuances. Grammar, elocution, word meanings, synonyms - what most people would call nerdy stuff, I find it fascinating!

In fact I recently download a whole list of podcasts on my iPhone - Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips. They're approximately 5 minutes each and they deal with a grammar topic in a quick and dirty way. Easy, breezy...

English was always my favourite subject and it was the subject that I won a school prize in, the subject that I got my highest 'O' level grade in, what I chose as an 'A' level and what I continued studying at university (albeit as my secondary area for career reasons).

I recall an episode in primary school when I was about 6 years old; we were working through an exercise on contractions such as didn't, couldn't and were giving the full terminology. It was one of those lessons where you'd raise your hand, the teacher would pick someone and they'd give the answer. In the list there was the contraction o'clock so I raised my hand and gave the answer, of the clock, and because it didn't follow the 'pattern' of the other words and was deemed to be more difficult, the teacher suspected me of having the answers written! I assured her that I didn't, and in fact I did not, which left her suitably impressed, but left a 6-year-old with a lasting memory.


  1. English too was my favourite subject and I continued studying it at University. I love anything that has to do with the language. At one point while I was still at university I got obsessed with getting the right accent and when I managed to fool two Britons into thinking I was English - that made my day!! Now that I no longer practise it that much I feel as if I've lost my fluency and the accent that I had worked so much upon.

  2. Did you ever correct a teacher's English? I did that once in Form 1 and got into massive amounts of trouble because I refused to back down. Heheh.


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