English Language and Spelling!!!!

IMG_0311English Language & Spelling!!!!
Have you ever noticed that some people are fantastic spellers???? Others, not so much.

There are shows where young kids from approximately 7-12 years old compete in spelling bees where they spell words most of us have never heard of, never mind having any idea what they could possibly mean. It is amazing to see.

Personally, I think these kids must have awesome memories. They must digest the dictionary. It made me think about English…what if I were from another country where English was not my natural language? How hard would it be to learn? Speaking the language may take awhile but spelling? That is a whole different question.

Remember when spelling was so important in school? For fun, pick a word as simple as “bear”. There are two words spelled differently but that sound the same….”bare”.

But why does “dear” sound differently as does year, hear, and near? Why not sound like “deer”, as beer or peer do? “Tear” can sound like two different words, one like “bear” (to rip up something) and also spelled identically “tear” can sound like “beer” but means to cry? There are so many variations on so many words.

If you are bored, can’t sleep or this is driving you nuts, think about it next time someone tells you that you cannot spell. If simple words like this can have so many variations what about bigger words?

Why does knife or knew have a (k) in it? We do not pronounce it. How about rough, tough? Why no “F”. And of course “through”… think about words like it!

Then along comes spell check with our word processors, iPhones, computers etc. Yeah… no more worry. With the various programs on the computer, you have to be sure that whoever you are writing to lives in the same country to be absolutely correct. For instance, the USA & Canada spell similar words slightly differently.

And then..,the “auto correct” on your iPhone or iPad. Finally no more spelling problems!!!! What a laugh that can be. You have GOT to read your message before sending!!! Sometimes I cannot even understand what it is I have written after auto correct.

Now with Twitter we are constricted by the amount of characters we can use, so we have found a way to say as much as possible using the least words possible. That has now become part of our everyday communication with friends. Makes you wonder how interesting a dictionary may look like twenty years from now. Think our children will look at spelling today as perhaps we look at how our long ago ancestors spelled.

Change is the way we move forward. For some it is difficult to comprehend but we have to. We would not have gone to the moon, have astronauts living on the Space Station or even be using the Internet that we so take for granted after a relatively short period of time.

George Bernard Shaw, the great playwright, left money in his will to reform the English language. He was in the extreme in this as it was nothing similar to the everyday language but a whole different style, in the manner of shorthand that was a compulsory subject years ago if you wanted to be a secretary.

How many words in this blog will you pick out and wonder “are there other words with similar spelling that sound differently?” Cannot sleep??? This will drive you nuts or put you to sleep.

Try the word “now” to start with. Words similarly spelled but sound so differently.


Games We Play

IMG_0286_sRGBPlaying games is so much fun but nowadays with so many choices, which is best? Board games bring the family or friends together for a few hours of laughs, competitiveness, munching on snacks and pure enjoyment.

On the other hand, the multitude of choices on our devices is also great fun. The only part with that is you are playing against yourself, perhaps a friend who is also staring at their iPhone or maybe a complete stranger who the particular gaming company can hook you up with if you choose.

Depending on who you are playing and where in the world they live, you may have to wait several hours to have them play their turn.

You could also play video games, especially the ones where you can play sports. So much fun with some exercise as well.

How about arcade games? Also, so entertaining and years ago was the only way to play something other than Board games.

Virtual reality is another option as well as being funny for those watching you play, as you participate in the action, but your audience has no idea what it is you are dealing with.

Which is best? I guess that depends on each one of us separately. All offer fantastic entertainment but I still think that getting together with friends, laughing as the dice will not roll that “six” to allow you to start your turn, and taking time in between to share stories is so special.

We are all caught up in the hectic demands of everyday, that seeing the special people in our lives has become a challenge. Perhaps planning a once or twice a month get together and having it in our daily calendar is one way to get away from the ” have to do list”, share an evening of laughs as well as recharge our “batteries.”

These special moments with your kids, parents, and friends is something that lasts a lifetime, memories cherished forever.

Mother’s Day Musing

Mother DuckMore than 40 Countries honor their mothers on a special day. Many have chosen the 2nd Sunday in May for this.

In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson of the USA signed a bill proclaiming the 2nd Sunday in May as a National holiday.

Some Countries have celebrated honoring Mothers for a very long time for religious reasons, others even due to military participation.

For me, my Mom is the person that I most admire. I will not go into why, but that is how I feel. I won the lottery with having her as my Mom. She was THE most important person in my life. She “got it,” and understood and celebrated me as unique.

If you are fortunate enough to have grown up with your Mom, you are very blessed. If you did not, then I hope someone filled that role for you. Whoever that person is, they played a priceless part of your life.

Moms know how to comfort us, have eyes in the back of their heads, seem to know everything that is going on, and even reprimand us when we deserve it. And although we might have complained along the way, when we grew up we realized she mostly got it right.

They always say that babies do not come with a set of instructions, but neither do Moms. Moms just “know,” as though the moment you hold your precious baby for the first time, everything clicks in.

We can reflect on all the serious sides of our Moms, her accomplishments, etc., but today I mostly remember laughing at all the funny things we did or had together. Sometimes I laughed when I really should not have but we had a crazy sense of humor. There are so many funny memories that I will forever cherish.

So wherever you live, and whether Mother’s Day has been celebrated or is still to come, enjoy your memories, have a chat, or go out for a latte. You may never find anyone who loves, or has loved you, so unconditionally.

Stanley Cup History

ice-hockey-goalie-goal-sport-39016-1Sports… whatever your sport, nothing generates as much excitement, loyalty, compassion or rivalry with your friends.

Right now, the NHL hockey playoffs are on. The NHL is the premier league of ice hockey for those who aspire to play in the best league of their sport. For 100 years, this is one of the longest trophies fought for. Called the Stanley Cup, it was donated by the Governor General of Canada (appointed by Queen Victoria) in 1892 for amateur hockey. Believe it or not, it only cost about $50 Canadian dollars. In 1917 the NHL came into being with very few interruptions since. In 1919 it was not held due to the Spanish flu outbreak & 2005 when the players were on strike.

What other trophy has the traditions of the Stanley Cup? The oldest Cup is presented to the players, not the management, every players name is on the Cup, and the players get to take it home with them for a day for whatever they wish to do with it. It has been used as a Baptismal font, a flower pot, has gone swimming, fishing, a lawn ornament & even gone to Afghanistan to visit the troops.

This trophy is the actual trophy, not a replica or yearly creation. Players holding this amazing trophy get to read the names of those who inspired them, and hold the Cup they held years ago.

Over the years the Stanley Cup has experienced some tough times. Once it was kicked into the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, has been left behind in snow banks, landed at the bottom of swimming pools & even stolen. It has a full time carer who travels with the cup now.

This is one of the hardest trophies to win with the playoffs lasting up to a possible 28 games after a season of 82 games played.

So whatever your favorite sport may by, the Stanley Cup holds an amazing amount of history.