I’m sure I don’t have to remind anyone of their Star Trek history………right??? Anyway, there’s a character from The Next Generation; Lore. He’s the brother/primary version of the android officer; Data. In the episode in question, he says to Data and the bridge crew; “Haven’t you noticed how easily I handle human speech? I use their contractions. For example, I say “can’t” or “isn’t”. You say “cannot” and “is not.”
Why do I bring this up? Why do I bring up 90% of the crazy stuff…….ok, ok, 97.5% of the crazy stuff I bring up on this website? Because I can’t tell you how many times I have been writing this blog, and when I go back to proof reading it 20 gazillion times (and still miss some mistakes), I often find that though the grammar may be correct, when I read it out loud to myself, I “sound” like an android by my lack of contractions. It’s violent to the ears. I guess what I do would qualify as “informal writing.”
There’s an old expression that says; England and The United States; two countries separated by a common language. Maybe the same could be said by the eyes, mouth, and the ears. To me, it seems it’s often that way when reading, writing, or speaking a language is involved. I would conclude they should be simply connected, but if we look closer, they’re not. Many of us have heard of the study at Cambridge University about the sequence of letters in words, and the ability to understand that sequence. If you did not….er,ah, didn’t catch the Cambridge study, it also appears on the inside label of a Vitamin Water bottle. A section of it looks like this;
it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae…
it doesn’t matter in what order the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that the first and last letter be at the right place
I guess it’s no surprise that the brain has super-powers it’s executing without always letting the eyes, mouth, and ears in on it.
This brings to me another language mystery I’ve always thought about; why can so many kids understand a foreign language at home, but don’t seem to have the ability to speak that language themselves. This fact used to annoy me the most as I struggled to complete my French class, freshmen year. I’d be mad at the kids who would flunk Italian while the language was spoken at their home.
Of course, I mentally eased up on those kids when I realized I wasn’t always doing so great in my English class; and I think that language may have been spoken in my own home.