Wednesday, February 20, 2008

quirks in language




One of my ESL students--a dear--the same one who asked me when did I get my 'papers'--came to me on Valentine's Day and was quite confused. She said, "Renee, I have a question. What is soitenly? I've seen it all day today on balloons." Every day I have a different, new perspective on language and I kick myself for taking it for granted.

4 comments:

Shawna said...

what is soitenly? I'm going to feel silly when you tell me, huh?

jenn's mama said...

No silliness. I had to think about it for a sec when she asked. When I could not get it freestyle, I asked her to spell it, right it down. The VD balloons probably read "I soitenly love you!" or posed a question: "Do you love me?" Answer: "Why soitenly!"

I don't remember which Walt Disney character used the word "certainly" but pronounced it soitenly.

It seems (as I have learned from teaching my pro bono Saturday ESL class) that the correct spelling of a word is less important that the student being able to recognize the sound of it (at least to ESL students). It's really a silly idea, but it sparked inquisition. It's funny because native English speakers would never think to question this kind of word play.

jenn's mama said...

Yeah, and if I could just use write right, I'd be good to go.

Shawna Yang Ryan said...

ok, i get it. ps--i never knew you felt that way about cats!!!