Teaching In Socks


a “whole” in the logic.
When viewed from afar the arrangement of our educational theory seems a bit off. We tell you children to stop asking questions and instead reward those who cam memorize answers. We ask them (and our asked ourselves) regard the information we are taught as indisputable facts. Then in college and perhaps in High School we are informed that the facts we have digested for the past twelve years are–in many cases–not facts per se, but instead simplified solutions. Suddenly questions are more valuable then answers and just as the whole thing starts to unravel we throw you in a nine to five and tell you to forget about it.
I suppose that’s why, at this age,  I am just starting to discover the humor and chaos in language. It could also be that as a language teacher I encounter more often and have developed an eye for it (but let’s face it as the above paragraph indicates I’d rather whine and moan about how it was Mrs Goldman’s fault in third grade). The fact that I learning a new language is probably a heavy contributer to this new found perspective as well.
Unless I was listening to George Carlin comedy bit, I never really questioned the logic of language– even in college. I mostly just sat in awe of people who could manipulate words and conman sentences well, hoping that someday I could do that for a living as well.
Then I came to Japan. The other night a student asked me to check an email they had written in English. In it they made a small typo, typing “the hole presentation” when them mean the “whole” presentation. We had a small laugh about how silly this was. Afterwards, it occurred to me that homophones  are the most damning evidence that language is human, and flawed(besides all the other reasons). We have a one word that mean “entirety, everything” and it sounds exactly the same as a word that means “a void”. This is just lazy, and careless.  Let’s not  even debate the logic behind the phonics of “whole”–it takes a sever ump in logic to arrive at the conclusion that a “wh” combination can make both an “h” and a “w” sound ( e.g. what).
I also spend a great deal of my time studying (okay, 30 minutes a day) Japanese grammar and trying to perfect my understanding of grammatical structure only to often find out that people don’t speak (or write) in perfect grammar; English speakers are guilty of this as well.
I’m not saying we tear the whole thing and rebuild, but we need to realize the foundation we have in place–with all languages across the board–is dangerous. I realized the other week, that on occasions when I’m not paying attention to my anunciation or intonation (which is all the time) I have the habit of asking the check-out lady at the super market for “two, flat owls”. “Fukuro” means means bag. “fukurou” means owl.
Now, I’m lucky; the check-out ladies are pretty understanding (or hard of hearing) because I have yet to receive any owls, but let’s imagine that I did. Owls are vicious devil-birds capable of anything within a 180 degree frame of reference. I on the other hand have no experience raising carnivorous birds and a fear of things attack my head from above.
Simply because some  lazy linguist made an inadvertent error–the is no other logical explanation, you cannot connect owls and bag etymologically–during the naming of things millenniums  ago we now have either two dead owls or one mangled white boy. Must this senseless violence continue or commence simply because we are too lazy to fix something that is broken? There is a seemingly infinite amount of sounds we have yet to use and other that are greatly underused.  Why does “X” get off so easily? Why stop at 26 letters? why not more?
I think at this time it’s only appropriate to announce my candidacy from President of the United States (and the World) on the platform of creating a 27th letter. It could looks like a dragon face! or a dragonfly or a dragon fruit! who knows?  I’m thinking the letter will have a “jh” or “bykl” but I am willing to negotiate this–my running mates, however, two vicious  supermarket Owls, are not.
(Ed note: I would like to apologize for this blog in Advance. i really have nothing to write about this week and I feel like the guy who writes the back page for the American Airlines in-flight magazine; American Way.  Next week I promise more interesting content as I probably will have achieved a new level of consciousness and have the ability to write blogs with my mind powers. )
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