Friday, May 1, 2009

Word Verification

I was replying to a blog and noticed the word verification was ....inest. I am tired and I read it as incest. Of course when I took a second look I realized what I had done. But it got me thinking. Not about incest, but about words and how just one letter can change the meaning so dramatically.

For instance take the word 'important'...... remove the 'r' and you have impotent. Stranger than that is that there is a whole generation of folks in the south who pronounce without the 'r' and don't change the meaning. I'm thinking it would important not to be impotent to most men.

Reminds me of some of my mother's relatives and the names they bestowed upon their children. Their was an aunt named Bede and I am not even sure I spelled that right. She named one of her daughters Euretha. Not sure of that spelling either, but put another 'r' and you have a body part. Even as a small child I pondered these names and what could possibly have motivated some one to give that name to her child. I wonder if maybe she actually had another name in mind that held special meaning and the name was simply mispronounced and misspelled. I guess if she was looking for a unique name that no one else would have, she found it.

This was the deep south and any name that ended in 'a' was usually pronounced 'er'. My grandmother's name was Eva, but anytime I heard someone call her by her first name it sounded like 'eaver'. I can't remember how old I was when I realized her name was Eva and that my sister shared that name with her.

Another common practice in the south was to use both first and middle name to address some people. I had a friend whose name was Virginia Elizabeth, but was known as Jennebeth. I had always thought her first name was Jennifer---based on the spelling of the name she used, but found out different when I asked. I think maybe she chose the spelling herself, because the pronunciation used was 'Ginnybeth'. I liked this name and considered giving one of my daughters names I could combine into a different name, but didn't. They will no doubt thank me for this.

I must be really tired tonight as I sit here and ponder the absurdities of names. I have finally put away all of the kitchen supplies and dishes that were in the cabinets I deconstructed and rebuilt. I am feeling quite accomplished knowing that I did it all by myself. The saw I used had a bad blade on it. I already have my own drill and now I think I want my own saw. I take better care of my tools than love of my life does. Time to go and rest my weary bones..........

6 comments:

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

There is also the problem of what a name can mean in another country and culture! Some names I have come across are positively rude in English. Mostly soccer players from another country are the most prevalent as commentators use their names regularly throughout a match.

I could hear the deep southern accect as you said those names in the post. Great.

Andrea said...

Oh I can't believe you wrote about this. Having lived in the deep south for almost 20 years, I know exactly what you're talking about. I called a family member "Jeannie" for 15 years before I realized the real spelling of her name was "Jenny!"

Now, about those word verifications - I'm tempted to write them all down and write a post using all of them - they always seem so close to some other word!

Lover of Life said...

Pictures! We need pictures of the new cabinets and kitchen spaces.

scarlethue said...

Ah Southern names... my parents just named their new dog Daisy Faye. Enough said.

lovelyprism said...

You know, the problem with some of that southern slang and mispronunciation is sometimes I have absolutely no idea what people are talking about! Some girl in the Wal-Mart the other day was talking animatedly about po-po. It took me ten minutes and some serious eavesdropping to decide she was referring to the police! Good thing she wasn't asking me to call them.

Kathy G said...

Andrea at Not Rocket Science recommended I come and read a bit. I'm glad she did!

Where are you in Missouri? (I'm in the St. Louis area).