My Goldens have a big bin of stuffed toys. They nose through them to look for the one that they want. They almost always grab one to greet me when I come in the door. It’s amazing how long they survive without being torn up. My neighbors dogs tear them to shreds…
Miley is gorgeous. Why is there an “e” in “gorgeous”? Do any of you pronounce the e? I sat “gor-jus” does anyone say “gor-gee-ous? You know how there is DNA in us that we don’t use? Our language is like that too, we have junk letters in our words. Oh, yeah, forgot, “junk” no longer means what it did. I once was looking for something in my purse, and I said “I have a lot of junk” and I got weird reply from someone.
Miley looks so proud of herself holding her toy. I’m guessing she is a happy dog who hears more praise than yells.
Fascinating book about our language: “The Adventure of English; the Biographt of a Languagr” by Melvin Bragg. One reason English is so complex is the number and variety of sources that contributed to it, the ways they interacted and developed. Which all goes to making this possibly the most flexible and nuanced language in use.
As to the e in gorgeous, I’d suggest that it’s purpose is to indicate that the second g is soft, like j, and not a hard g as in the first one. Without that e, we’d be saying gorg – us, as in Gorgon.
Good answer, M.R.S. US English has sensibly rationalised a number of our spellings: color instead of colour, thru instead of through etc and the world in general has usually favoured (that’s another anomaly) the American spelling as serving a majority of English speakers, but at least we don’t need translating very much.
Years ago I was handing a hire car back and couldn’t quite understand the accent of the American taking it off me so he said “Don’t you understand English?” to which I replied arrogantly “Yes, we invented the language.”
The accents and dialects change roughly every 25 miles in Britain itself. Personally, as someone from England’s rural south I find various city accents sometimes hard to understand. And of course I am old enough to remember when schools tried to insist on unaccented (standard)English being spoken and many mums sent their children to elocution lessons. But as ‘posh’ English speech has been toned down over the years I’ve progessively become a member of a minority accent group. My granddaughter once felt the need to apologise for me when introducing me to some school mates. That hurt!
Dialects and accents are also fascinating. I had two relatives-by-marriage, one a lady from Tennessee, the other from Newfoundland. I had to act as interpreter when they tried to converse! Newfie and Suth’nah are almost different languages. I can only imagine what happens when Yorkshire meets Oxford.
Why not? Well, some people have attempted to reform spelling and usage, with little success overall. Look up the etymology of the word “gorgeous”. In brief, it came to us from the Old French, “gorgias”– those who are interested can have the fun of finding out more for themselves.
I was interested to hear that “handsome” originally meant ” easily controlled”. It was a horse term, meaning the horse responded to slight hints from the reins, or “hands”. So “handsome is as handsome does” was meant literally. It was a behavioral term, not a physical one.
“Eager to please” might be what we would say in dogs.
We call cheese “cheese”. Many Americans recognize 3 types of cheese, yellow, white, and orange. Further subdivision are often unneeded. Americans often eat cheese as an item already mixed into a dish before they buy it, so there would be little point in asking the name of the cheese. If you like the food, you order it again, if not, you try something else next time.
For example: the cheese is already on the pizza when you buy it, the cheese is already in the taco when it is served, the cheese arrives already in the cheese-burger, a side dish of macaroni and cheese already arrives with the cheese mixed in.
Americans often associate just cutting a slice of cheese and eating it as “trying to look French” which can be linked with a yuppie interest. There was a bumper sticker years ago about real men not eating quiche. Meaning that men don’t get overly fancy about their food.
I looked up “rarebit” we don’t have that.
“Wabbit” is how Elmer Fudd pronounces “rabbit”. Long childhood association with Bugs Bunny causes us to smile at the word “wabbit”.
I guess its an American thing? What do other people think when they read “wabbit”? And I find no listing for “rebbuts”, I guess rabbits are spelled the same but pronounce “rebbuts”? Nobody actual calls rabbits “wabbits” except as a joke.
Maybe it’s being part of such a varied Europe – travelling around it for work, holidays or weekends via short flights or the Channel tunnel – that even the smallest British supermarket deli counter stocks literally scores of different cheeses. “Rebbut” just reflects the way KIwis (New Zealanders) pronounce the letter “a” You can look nearer to home for hearing “rarebit” but Retrieverman is right also, Welsh Rarebit is grated cheddar cheese with mustard powder, and egg all grilled on toast. Too much information? “Wabbit” is, as we know, a very small infant’s way of making the parents and elder siblings laugh.
By the way, May, surely you have smelly cheeses like danish blue, gorgonzola and stilton? They can be smelled even when the cheese dish has a top on it in a closed fridge, then you either eat them quickly or have to chase them out of the house..
Funny. I have heard smelly cheese referred to as “toe jam cheese”.
America,, except a few older inner city parts, now have big supermarkets with trainloads of food. But if they had cheese so smelly that you could smell it before you bought it, people would complain that a mouse must have die in their cheese case – several days ago.
We do have an occasional deli, and you sometimes find a deli inside of a supermarket. But I never smelled stinky cheese.
A subculture of Americans are into wines, knowing the year, that sort of European culture. Many other Americans drink wine, they just don’t learn much about it. Many Americans drink beer, especially at sporting events or after working outside. And mixed drinks, rum, vodka etc mixed with fruit juice or other beverages, especially at night or evening where loud music is being played.
Cheese loving is usually viewed as imported taste. White American love cheese in their food, but they don’t learn about the cheese culture. Many black Americans, and some other ethnic groups, genetically quit making the enzyme that digests milk and milk products after childhood. So they can’t eat milk based foods. Restaurants have to deal with that.
To say “yum yum this cheese is so good” is unthinkingly unkind to those who can’t eat cheese.
I used the word “deli” in the manner to which I was replying. To many Americans a “deli” is a sandwich shop that makes and sells sandwiches, not slabs of cheese and meat, but we also, in some places, call these “do it yourself sandwich shops a “deli” too.
We are divided by one language they say. For those who are not familiar with ‘smelly’ cheese just one word – SOCKS after a day’s hiking. In our supermarkets the delicatesen counter is usually dominated by cheeses but also various cold meat combinations. English type sandwiches are sold, freshly made, in glass doored cabinets at supermarkets, train stations, airports and petrol stations etc.