Spelling is Fun(ny)

One interesting thing about living in a multi-lingual community (I can TOO say that, it’s Spanish, English, Spanglish, and I just heard a Yiddish word the other day so we got that going for us…) is that spellings get a little out of control.

I’m sure there’s a very formal, appropriate linguistic term for this kind of thing, I just don’t care enough to figure out what that term might be.

You may remember this beauty, from way back:

I can’t blame them, really. This is a classic mistake, and one I make myself, in my native language, on a regular basis.

In fact, it is barely noticable. I drove past it for two months before I realized it had an extra vowel.

Other, more insidious spelling tricks surface, however, the more I immerse myself in the culture. They are deviations which yield such delightful results that I have found myself acquiring a whole new, completely ridiculous vocabulary, because I can not bear to let those delicious words languish in snobbish non-use.

(I did not take this picture, but I can’t tell you who did.)

“Remodelation” just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Finally, I received a text message response to a witty rejoinder that made me double over in laughter myself, then immediately adopt the phrase. When I read the following, I first read it with an American-English pronunciation:

Which, in Am-English, is pronounced something like: Gia-gia-gia! (A chanted homage to the earth goddess, perhaps?)

When, in fact, the writer meant it to be pronounced: Hah-hah-hah! (Laughter.)

So now, when people tell me they are going to remodelate their apartament, I reply with a hearty “GIA-GIA-GIA” to indicate my appreciation of the humorous pronunciations.

PS: When I looked up “jajaja,” I found another gem: Oftenly.

PPS: In more jajaja news, the JaJaJa Festival is a huge Nordic music shindig in London, UK, with better artwork than mine. If you can believe it.


6 thoughts on “Spelling is Fun(ny)”

  1. I am utterly ashamed to say that although I have enough French and German to get by and a little Italian (and am reasonably proficient in English!) and have smatterings of one or two other languages I went to Spain for the first time perhaps 8 years ago at a couple of days notice and realised as I got off the plane that I didn't know a single word of Spanish.

    After a while I discovered that I knew more than I had realised. But it made me appreciate the mistakes that are easily made with pronunciation versus spelling. I was always being looked at with a frown when I pronounced Spanish words as though they were Italian.

    So I no longer look at such 'mistakes' with any contempt but with complete tolerance. I just hope that people extend the same tolerance to me when I'm in that situation.

  2. Awewsome….and only because I have recently been exposed to this text. I have quickly adopted it into my vocabulary with the “gia-gia-gia” pronunciation.

  3. Pity the poor language learner trying to figure out “nuclear” vs. “nucular” or the difference between “cavalry” and “calvary” when native speakers can't even keep them straight.

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