Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Language Matters

Click on the photo to see the entire image

I consider myself fluent in English - it is, after all, my 'mother' tongue.  I also have a pretty decent grasp of British and American variants of the language with a smattering of Aussie and Kiwi tossed into the mix, partly because I read - a lot.  I grew up reading British children's stories as much as I did American.  One of my very first favourite authors was Enid Blytton (sp?)  I have always watched a lot of British tv programs, especially history or science, but also generally.

I also speak weaving with a smattering of spinning, some bobbin lace, knitting (although my knitting language skills are pretty dated) and embroidery.

I believe that language matters.  If we do not use language that we all understand, then communication becomes more difficult than it needs to be.  In my humble opinion, of course.

Generally I try to use correct words for weaving and spinning.  For example, the two yarn packages to the left in the photo are cones.  The yarn package to the right is a tube.  Or spool, although I feel that a spool should have flanges to be truly accurate.  But at least I can understand when someone asks me for a 'spool' of cotton - I'm pretty sure I know that they want a tube.  

The internet is written communication.  Therefore I try very hard to not only use the correct word, but to spell it correctly.  It's 'sley', not slay or sleigh.  It's 'treadling', not threadling.  (Do they mean threading?  Or treadling? - Sometimes context will give meaning, but not always.)  And a pet peeve is 'dying' when people mean dyeing.

Auto (in)correct plays havoc on technological terms but it can be taught.  I've managed to get both my ipad and my new phone (mostly) to at least give me the weaving term option.  

If the use of 'proper' words isn't important, then it isn't important.  To me it's very important.


Barbara Kish said...

Use the language of the discipline, and use it correctly. I firmly believe it matters. Demonstrate the importance of the activity to you by learning it well, and that includes that verbiage. It's not stuck-up or elitist or show-off-y to be accurate.

Stephanie S said...

Yes, if we don't use the correct words and spelling there is a risk we won't be understood or worse that we will be spreading the misunderstanding. I admit I have fallen victim to auto-correct. Because of the 'auto' part I don't always notice that what I have spelled correctly has been changed.
Stephanie S.

Peg Cherre said...

Language is, indeed, important. I remember years ago telling an employee at the not-for-profit where I worked that he needed to eliminate certain terms and types of 'jokes' from his language. He replied that it wasn't important, it was only words. My response, "If it doesn't matter then use the language I've requested."

A colleague told me that I wasn't changing his attitudes, only his behavior around me. My response to that was that as more people made it clear that his behavior needed to change, it would eventually do so, and that as his behavior changed, his attitude would slowly follow.

Think words doesn't matter? Look at how POTUS speaks and the impact that has.

Heike said...

Hi, English is not my mother tongue but sometimes, reading posts from people who have grown up in the US or GB, I am astonished how wrong native speakers spell words when for me the right spelling is so obvious.
Of course I will never be able to speak or write as perfectly as native speakers do and I sometimes struggle with the right use of "of", "from", "at" just to name a few, but I always try to spell the words correctly because this is very important to me as well in English as in German, which is my mother tongue.

Louisa said...

Don't get me started on homonyms! Palette vs palate vs pallet. Can't tell you how many times I've seen those used incorrectly. Grrr...

So Laura, how about the old "shaft" or "harness" chestnut? And a "spool of cotton" used to mean sewing thread. Back in the days before polyester anyway. Ah, ain't language fun? LOL!

phann son said...
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