“You say eether and I say eyether,
You say neether and I say nyther,
Eether, eyether, neether, nyther,
Let’s call the whole thing off!
You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto,
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let’s call the whole thing off!”
(Lyrics – Louis Armstrong – Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off)
or…language coaches and the “right” answer.
English is a very odd language – grammar rules which have more exceptions than the rule and pronunciation which often has nothing to do with the letters you see written… Added to this, you can get a room full of English trainers and ask what something means or how it is pronounced and get a variety of answers.
Rules and definitions are good, but we always need to bear in mind context and culture, amongst other things. English is evolving constantly due to business and the internet and it is becoming harder to say what is exclusively BE (British English) or AE (American English), or any of the other, many, types of English we have floating about. Or even if this actually matters anymore.
No doubt we’ll be blogging more on this topic in the future, but do you have any initial thoughts? Do you have a love for a particular type of English? When looking for an English language trainer, do you look at where they come from? Are you a purist, or do you see language as only one part of communication?
Ta very much and take care,