Last week, after a brief amble in the park where my son works I fell asleep on a blanket in the grass. I woke up to this:
The blue skies, the lake, the grass, the daisy just beyond the edge of the blanket.
One of the first things that came to mind was “preamble” and what a silly word that is if you consider what amble means. An amble is a leisurely walk, but a preamble is not what happens before a leisurely walk. A preamble is an introduction — like the Preamble to the Constitution: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” then something about domestic tranquility, common defense and blessings of liberty. Whatever all it says — and my memory is weak here — the preamble is not leisurely. It’s the gritty laying of groundwork for a legal document. What follows the preamble isn’t an amble either. It’s bedrock.
But I love language and that’s my “L” in this pitifully late A-to-Z Challenge.
There are so many avenues to explore in languages. Etymology of words, exceptions to rules, idioms.
You probably already know all of the these, but I’ll throw them in here anyway — If the plural of goose is geese, why isn’t the plural of moose meese? By the same token, mouse becomes mice, louse becomes lice, but house never become hice. Right?
And weird is just a weird word because the i comes before the e and there’s no c involved.
My husband used to work with a woman from Germany. Her husband called her once when she was running late at work and told her that she needed to pick up the pizza for their dinner and step on it. She turned to Bud asked, “Why does he want me to step on the pizza?”
Laurel has been saying the word “Schnikes” for a while. “Is that a real word?” I asked her.
“I think so,” she said, and looked it up. It sounds Yiddish to me, but it came from Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
Aren’t words fun? Isn’t language fun?
When I was about two years old, we lived in Ethiopia and our housekeeper taught me to count to ten in Italian. When I was in high school, I took French and Latin. When I was in college, I took Latin, Greek, and Italian. A few years after college I took American Sign Language through a community college. Before I went to Croatia and Bosnia, I downloaded an app to learn some Croatian. (We actually got free admission to a museum after I attempted to ask for our tickets in Croatian.)
Now I’m learning Scottish Gaelic. In early May, I hit the 700 consecutive days milestone.
I may not be able to say amble in Gaelic, but I can tell you that I’m walking — Tha mi a’ coiseachd.
I love languages. I love learning. Two good L’s, eh? (<— that’s my Canadian.)
What don’t I like that begins with L? Hmm…. how about liver and onions? My mom used to make it. Not my favorite.
How about you? What do you like that begins with L? What’s something you don’t like?