Reflections by Phil Ellenberger

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info, Reflections
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 17 Aug 17 - 0 Comments

Well here we are it is August already. It is a fair bet that most of us have not got two thirds of the stuff done we wanted to accomplish in the year. But the year never misses, When August is done it will be two thirds over.

Last month I noted that July was named after Julius Caesar. August was named after another Caesar, his nephew Augustus. Before that they called the months Quintilus and Sextilus. In those days they only had ten months. The Romans must have had a lot of holidays. I guess were lucky that the months weren’t called Caesar I and Caesar II like we do World Wars.

This makes me wonder; the words July and August have been in our language for two thousand years. Who actually invented language? Goodness knows there are a lot of languages around the world. How did the same thing get so many different names?

Even within a country the words aren’t the same. Texas has its own dictionary. One of my favorite Texas phrases is “fixin to”. What is yours? We gave one of those dictionaries to a friend from another country so he could make it in Texas.

It is also interesting that the grammar is different around the world. In English we say something like, “He walked away limping.” While in other languages they would say “Walked away he, limping”. Those of us who are Star Wars fans of Yoda know about that kind of way to talk. Why did they eliminate him in the newer versions? Unhappy the force is.

I recall the story about the guy who says he understands every language except Greek. When someone spouted something to him in Russian he said I don’t understand, that is Greek to me.

I can tell you that because I have been lucky enough to travel in many different countries a lot of those languages are Greek to me. I did spend a lot of time in Germany on business, not as a soldier, and that is a funny language.

The Germans make new words by stringing together old ones. As the joke goes the German word for Atomic Bomb translates as follows: Das is louden boomer mit smoking an snorting. Then they make hydrogen Bomb by adding and all is kaput.

I have no idea how the oriental like Chinese and Japanese ever came up with the word they use. As I listen to them it sounds to me like they are coughing and clearing their throat in preparation for saying something.

It is just amazing that folks like the Russian’s don’t even use the same alphabet that we do.

It is hard enough to get understanding between two folks in who use the same language naturally. It is no surprise to me that the world is basically a little, if not a lot, screwed up. Instead of a tower of babble we seem to have a world of babble.

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