Non-native English bloggers, linguistics and hiccups

Not having English as your native language can at times cause a few fun challenges and hiccups. I have a tendency to sometimes mix up homophones, two words that are written differently, but pronounced the same. Especially when writing a short and quick text (for instance a blog post) jeans become genes, plain becomes plane, and the list goes on. I easily spot them reading through the text, but I very rarely do, I hit post before I think, just like I speak before I think. You are most likely to come across a few here on the blog!

 

She didn't die in the spring, nor in the fall, but apparently fell down in the autumn

She didn’t die in the spring, nor in the fall, but apparently fell down in the autumn

A few years ago when I was rather new to blogging I wrote a post on a recipe of some sort including flour. Silly little me managed to swap flour with ‘flower’ resulting in a rather interesting recipe! I would just have smiled at this if it wasn’t for a ping back I got from a blog I had never visited where a girl from New York wrote a post on foreigners (non-native English speakers) blogging in English. My blog was mentioned, and linked to, along with several other blogs where both spelling and grammatical errors flourished. I was a bit hurt. I know my English isn’t perfect, and this blog is, among other things, a place for me to try and improve my language skills. So having someone comment on an error is something I hope I would appreciate, but to have it laughed at in a stranger’s blogpost left me a bit deflated.

but skip the adverbial suffixes...

but skip the adverbial suffixes…

Today I came across a blog where a post had the title ‘Fall / Høst / Tomber’. Chuckling already? Well, you know what fall means, and the British word would be ‘autumn’, ‘høst’ is the norwegian translation, while ‘tomber’ would be ‘to fall down’ in French. An easy mistake to make. Results in a wee chuckle for some of us, and I just had to share it: I found it very cute! However, I figured I had to let this completely unknown person know, but I didn’t want her to feel like I felt. I sent her an e-mail, feeling horrible trying to correct a stranger’s language. I felt my stomach tighten a bit (yes, that’s what linguistics consider a thrill!) and hoped I had stepped on any toes or hurt any feeling. Only a few minutes later she replied, thanking me dearly for letting her know. And for some odd reason that’s been on my mind for the rest of the day. A positive and good little lump of happy feeling nestled deep in my tummy, making me smile a little. Did I actually use my education for something good?

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