Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Engilsh (for English)

The other day I was browsing through the pages of a well-known mail order catalog, and I spied a T-shirt with this message:  “I’m fluent in three languages—English, sarcasm, and profanity.”  Who knew?!?  Perhaps the proficient among us should start listing these linguistic skills on our résumés!  At the very least, the knowledge should be a real confidence booster.

However, our claim to fluency will lose cred if we can’t spell the names of our languages.   Engilsh is a typo that even native speakers make with some frequency—there are 12 instances of just that one variant in OhioLINK, and WorldCat has 68 entries.

("The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things" by Hieronymus Bosch, from Wikimedia Commons.  Fortunately, sarcasm and profanity are not among them!)

Deb Kulczak

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