words don’t come easy

Remember that song? It was wildly popular, at least in Europe, early 80’s. That guy must have been a one-hit-wonder … a flash in the pan.

Anyway, that title came to mind when I was pondering the subject for today’s post: words! A while back I wrote about the word «awry» … I think it was in my other blog. I’d used to word ‘awry’ when speaking, but never needed to write it/spell it. However, I’d seen the word ‘awry’ written, but never put the two together. When I read it, in my head I pronounced it «AWE-reeh», and luckily I never had to read it out loud LOL. I don’t remember how I found out … how I got it right, finally, but somehow I did.

The other day, another word like that was revealed: «epitome». This is a word I’ve used many, many times, but never needed to write it … I do remember trying to type it, one time, but got the red underscore, indicating I didn’t spell it right … no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get the spelling right so I just found some work-around and moved on.

I’ve seen the word ‘epitome’ many times, when reading, but never bothered to look it up, even though I slightly wondered what it meant. It was the same phenomenon as with ‘awry’ … I never put two and two together. This one was actually worse — I realise I would never have been able to figure this one out, unless I’d taken time out to look up ‘epitome’.

In my mind, I pronounced it «EPI-tome»!!! 😀 When I pronounced it in real life, I guess I got sloppy and almost said it like ‘e-PI-demy’, that’s why I never could get it right in the spell-checker.

This showed up in some article I was reading, and I burst out laughing when I finally realised what epitome was! I was thankful I found out, because this is a word I’ve used more than awry.

As a non-native English-speaker, I think one is more inclined to think about stuff like this, and grammar. There’s a song, they keep playing on the Country Radio now, where he sings, in the chorus line: ‘my baby don’t love me any more’. Each time I hear it, I keep thinking … “and you know WHY your baby doesn’t love you any more?! Because your grammar is so poor!” LOL

I once made the same mistake; I said don’t instead of doesn’t — not because I didn’t know, but because I was nervous and tense, my tongue was twisting — and was immediately corrected by a friend I had. I can almost sympathize with the friend now … if you can’t even get those, very basics, right … well, then perhaps you need a refresher course 🙂

Growing up totally bilingual … what a gift that is to a child! To get two languages ‘for free’ so to speak … without the hard work it takes to learn a second language … To a child, words DO come easy!

26 Replies to “words don’t come easy”

  1. Haha, as a non-native speaker I completely relate but can’t remember any similar examples of mine. I do know awry, but epitome is a revelation! 😮 I’ve seen it around but if I had to say it out loud, i’d say something like epi-toum. Now that I’ve checked the correct pronounciation online, i only need to figure out what it means. 😀

  2. Until I grew up, I pronounced Penelope as Pen-i-loap – I saw it written in books but I did not know anyone with that name. Who knew it was Pen-el-o-pee ?

    1. Oh my … I did exactly the same thing!!! That was until we got a British TV-series … «To the Manor born» 🙂

      Living in Sweden, I wasn’t very likely to meet someone with that name …

  3. And on top of spelling and pronunciation there is the code in language and how social class, position, and respect are all hidden in the code. And that is all the more complicated when one is in a foreign country – as I know from my wife Tamara who is American and supposedly shares a common language with the UK.

    1. Oh yeah … that’s such a big and difficult issue!

      I don’t remember whether it was Churchill or Shaw who said «We’re separated by a common language»

  4. I remember that song very well! My older sister were expecting her first child, a son when that song came out and he must have heard it so often “from inside” lol so he got to love it. Cause I remember when he was born and I played that song, he always got a huge smile on his little face lol

    I didn’t know what awry meant and I also pronounced it sooo wrong lol And likewise with epitome! You know so many words that I don’t and no wonder 😉

    My grammar is awful and I know it… I probably say don’t when it is supposed to be doesn’t. But I actually do not really care. It would be different I guess if I had an important job where my english had to be perfect. Now… I am just saying as long as the other person understands me, that’s good enough lol

    1. I always associate that song with my trip to England. They kept playing it on the ferry.

      We’re a little different there, you and I 🙂 If I were to find out that I’d made a mistake [grammar or pronunciation] over and over again, I’d be so embarrassed I’d probably crawl in underneath some rock, in shame.

      Once, at work, I was sitting, holding a pen from a pharmaceutical company. «Imigran» it said on the pen. Then it dawned on me I’d been typing Immigran for seven years [and nobody had corrected me!!!]. I felt awful, and looked like a tomato in the face. I still remember how I felt after all these years.

      1. When I was much younger, oh my, then I would have been embarrassed as well. I guess with age I have let go of some of that, which is a relief!

        Awww can imagine how you felt!! I wonder why nobody corrected you though. Maybe nobody really saw it…

        1. Good for you … that you feel that way 😀

          I think nobody even noticed … they can’t have! Immigran … perhaps it looked good. Here, Imigran is named Imitrex. Often they have quite similar names.

  5. Probably since I am a native American English speaker, these words by Ringo come to mind…
    It don’t come easy,
    You know it don’t come easy.

    It don’t come easy,
    You know it don’t come easy.

    Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
    And you know it don’t come easy.
    You don’t have to shout or leap about,
    You can even play them easy.

    Forget about the past and all your sorrows,
    The future won’t last,
    It will soon be over tomorrow.

    I don’t ask for much, i only want your trust,
    And you know it don’t come easy.
    And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
    And you know it just ain’t easy.

    Open up your heart, let’s come together,
    Use a little love
    And we will make it work out better.

    Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues,
    And you know it don’t come easy.
    You don’t have to shout or leap about,
    You can even play them easy.

    Peace, remember peace is how we make it,
    Here within your reach
    If you’re big enough to take it.

    I don’t ask for much, i only want your trust,
    And you know it don’t come easy.
    And this love of mine keeps growing all the time,
    And you know it don’t come easy.

  6. Too funny. You know I think you do very well. A lot of country people actually speak like the songs are sung. My husband is from Arkansas. His whole family has atrocious English. They all use double negatives and laugh because they know it’s not correct. It really bugs me. It’s almost like a different dialect because a group of people use it. I get the word a day and like it because there is a place that you can hear how it sounds. I believe it’s Websters.

    1. Why thank you! I’m doing my best … out of respect for the language [and myself LOL].
      Arkansas … ahh, so they say things like «I ain’t killed nobody» and «them there hills in the distance»? I think it would bug me too, in the long run. It’s fun once.

      I’ve had that Word a Day for many years and yes, it’s Webster’s. Love it! Sometimes the words are so far out so not even Gerry have heard them 🙂

      1. There are some so far out I haven’t heard them lol. There seem to be a lot of new ones. There is one called quidnunc which means busy body. Some stick in my head some don’t.

        P just uses one instance and he has used it for years. I can’t remember but I keep meaning to write it down. You would think as much as it bothers me I would remember but it just stops me at the time and I go on because it’s a bad habit and he’s not willing to change it.

        1. Just as well you don’t remember them — it’s very easy to get caught up in saying something like that. My little example «I ain’t killed nobody» I hear every night in those crime shows LOL

    1. Heh! Great way of putting it 🙂 a friend once made up something similar for me, to remember how to differentiate between lie/lay/lye LOL

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