some linguistic observations

An Ode to My Language

It seems the Spanish language
has vowels that are more dependable:
an A= “ah,” and an E= “ay,” an I= “ee,”
an O= “oh,” and a U= “oo”

It seems quite unnatural to a speaker
of English, in which an E= boasts
at least twenty-one possible phonemes–
which I won’t go into here–in a poem.

It seems unseemly to burden young children
who are just learning to spell…after all…
with “eight” and “ate,” “ought to” and “auto”
just to name a few.

It seems to me that it is quite unfair
when favor, labor, color, and flavor
are correct in the U.S.–but wrong in England
unless they are spelled with a U= “you.”

Furthermore, it seems to me, when I hear
“awesome!” exclaimed, I never associate that
with cut-off jeans…or even  a wonderful apple pie!
“Awesome,” it seems to me, should be reserved–

…for when an Eagle flies over a canyon
or a rainbow lightens dark cliff shadows,
when rays of golden sun light on cathedral walls
or for billowing white sails on a Clipper Ship

These phenomena, it seems to me
fill human hearts with AWE–they are Awesome!

But what of the word “Awful”– full of Awe?
Is this wording a paradox?   Can “Awe” mean
both amazement… and paralyzing fear?
Is it an Oxymoron?  Or just a linguistic quirk?

©Sometimes, 2016

10 thoughts on “some linguistic observations

    1. thanks. I nearly majored in linguistics, but switched to History instead. I love languages. Wish I would have learned Spanish better when I was a kid…I learned after I was 50, which isn’t ideal. 🙂


      1. some of the Head Start schools used to teach “other” languages…here in Lorain area there are many who have no English until they start school…a big problem. That’s an area where the English-only people need to think. 🙂

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