Just Jot it January, 2019: January 5

“Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “sap/sep/sip/sop/sup.” Use one or all of these words or find a word that contains them, but most of all, have fun! Wondering what to do with “sep”? This is interesting: https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=SEP Enjoy!” (https://lindaghill.com/2019/01/04/the-friday-reminder-for-socs-jusjojan-2019-daily-prompt-jan-5th/)  Except, of course, NOT one-liner Wednesday for me because these Jots are not only my 500-words a day challenge, but also part of my  Ultimate Blogging Challenge challenge (http://ultimateblogchallenge.com).

I will also reiterate that, according to the prompt link from Linda, that this is also a Stream of Consciousness Friday post.  Which will work out well, since my Just Jots are pretty much all SoCs too!

Ok.  Does anyone here know that my Masters degree is in Linguistics?  Yes, it is.  I even taught for 10 years in post-secondary Linguistics programs.  No, my current job (and the main “career” I have had for 25 years now) has absolutely nothing to do with linguistics, but it was my degree.  My first university degree was Music Performance (double bass), but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Anyway, I digress.  As a linguist, and yes, I still call myself a linguist although I am a bit rusty, I was this list of words like this and wanted to tell you that they are called minimal pairs (here are some more examples:  http://www.tedpower.co.uk/minimal0108.html).  Because they are almost the same, beginning with an “s”, ending with a “p”, but having different vowels in between these consonants.  There are, however, a few missing.  That is, if I assume “sap” is pronounced like the sap of a tree, “sep” is pronounced like “unacSEPtable”,   “sip” is pronounced like what I am doing with my coffee right now, “sop” as in what I had to do when I spilled my coffee because I wasn’t sipping it, and “sup” is pronounced like “what’SUP?!?”  What about “soup”?  Or “seep”?  Or “soap”?  Or “sAp”, as in “homo SAPiens”?  Ok, yes, there are a few other English vowel and diphthongs I could add, but I can’t think of some good “s-p” examples for you (not enough coffee yet…still sipping…)

I could also go into the whole English spelling thing, and talk about the Great Vowel Shift and how this had a large impact on the English spelling we are stuck with today, and why it doesn’t always seem to match with how we pronounce things.  And it gets a lot more complicated when we examine all the many dialects of English that exist today.  Suffice it to say, it’s complicated.  I do, however, get a bit snippy when people tell me how crazy “English” is – it’s not the language, it’s the spelling system!  And when some people complain about how English is “going downhill” or being “bastardized” by the way people speak it.  It’s a language, and languages evolve and change.  People in England don’t speak English the way they did 200 years ago, nor do people in France speak French they way they did 200 years ago.   Maybe instead of complaining, we should embrace it – wonder why people are saying words they way they do, or using words in different ways.  It’s actually kind of interesting when you learn more.

Ok.  That took me someplace I was not expecting.  I should probably stop now because I am sure I have pissed somebody off – people take their English very seriously!  Time to get back to my coffee…

Posted on January 5, 2019, in Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. S’up, Emily? This was great. SUPer great, in fact. 😉

  2. What an interesting life you’re having! Thanks for the linguistics lesson. As Spock would say, “Fascinating!”

  3. No, I didn’t know your MA was in Linguistics! Mine was Political Science (surprised, aren’t you?) I do love the picture … makes me want to snuggle up next to him and enjoy the fire. They frown on us building fires here, since we have no fireplaces. Sigh. 😉 Happy Saturday!

  4. I DO remember you’re a linguist and a bassist, yes, because I looooooved linguistics in college and I can’t play a damn thing well, but I love the symphony (which I think you know.)
    All I can say is PREACH IT, SISTA!

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