Wednesday 1 October 2008

Living in a Bilingual World (Requiem)

'The Assassination of Somewhat by Kind Of and Sort Of'

Part of the current exhibition at the National Gallery

'The Internecine Schisms in the English Language
and their Effects on Contemporary British Society'

1st Oct 2008 - 1st Feb 2009
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square

Copyright 2008


  1. I used this David painting in one of my previous posts and am feeling very much the same tonight!

  2. Thank you for stopping by Muse-Swings today! Willow's party was wonderful and became a good opportunity to meet new people! Good to meet you - very interesting blog!

  3. Yes, willow, that was brilliant! Same painting and two different ideas completely! That's what art does and that's why I am so bowled over and fascinated by it!

    Greetings from London.

  4. Me encantaria poder asistir, compadre.
    Cuando estudiaba en Netherlands y no tenia ni un kilo prieto, siempre saque tiempo de discotheque y fondos de donde no había, para ir a lugares interesantes como el Riskj Museum d'Amsterdam.
    Quien sabe si un dia nos veamos en londres. A maylin le encantaria.

    un abrazo mi brother,

  5. Bro, los museos aqui son gratis y si, ojala podamos vernos en Londres algun dia. Lo otro es que el articulo tiene un enfoque humoristico porque la exposicion no existe. Trate de ilustrar los efectos del mal empleo de palabras como 'sort of (sorta)' y 'kind of (kinda)' en detrimento de terminos como 'somewhat' y 'somehow' que son los apropiados. Me parece que estamos en medio de una epidemia linguistica de 'sort of' y 'kind of', la cual afecta hasta afamados escritores y columnistas.

    Saludos desde Londres.

  6. I'm never convinced by nouns becoming verbs like de-plane, but I have to say I do like when foreign words slip into English when there is no English equivalent. I wouldn't be able to go to bed without my pajamas. Which came via India but is originally Persian. Avitar works really well in the computer world even though it refers to a deity in Sanskrit. My kids use language more casually than I do, but it livens things up. Whatever?

    I'm thinking a lot about semantic differences as I work on my next novel, Not Cricket,- how a word can mean one thing in American and another in British like torch. Anyway, interesting topic.

    I agree with your response to Willow (that must be our connection?) about art being so rich in meaning.

  7. Aaachh! Too early to see that after last night's ball at Willow Manor.

    I awoke to a discreet tapping only to find Bertie's valet, Jeeves entering the room with a vile hang-over drink (which, I have to say, did the trick) and a pot of very strong coffee. I may live....How are you (Joel) and Liza?

  8. Hi, Sarah, thanks for joining the forum. I am not a puritan linguist (or should that be a linguistic puritan?), but I somehow bemoan the use (or misuse) of certain words in common parlance. When people say: 'I kinda find this colour stronger than this one', what they really mean is 'I somehow find this colour stronger than this one'. For instance, when people say:'It's sorta easy for me to apply for this position...', what htey actually mean is:'It's somewhat easy to apply for this position...' I agree with you that language, especially the English language, benefits from the influence of foreign terms and at the same time, I think it ought to fight a little more vigorously to try to maintain the natural fluency that comes as a result of using words like 'somewhat'.

    Thanks for your post.

    Diva, I've put Joel Grey to bed now until next year's ball. Liza left early this morning. Thanks for your comments.

    Greetings from London.

  9. did it again. i love your linguist-ical posts!
    ok...i'll say no more otherwise i'll be tempted to say : your post is kind of interesting...
    oops sorry

    ps: that would be a funny exhibition..

  10. Thanks, castle, it would be a funny exhibition indeed.

    Greetings from London.

  11. I promise to be on my best grammatical behavior as much as possible.

    I also pledge that I will not split infinitives or start my sentences with And.


  12. Hey Cuban,

    I have always had the impression that the English language was more permissive than Spanish when it came to language rules.
    Cambiando de palo pa’ rumba: el Spanglish probably suena like an abomination to the British’s ear.
    Jajaja, na’ pero I will love see you in that beautifully place call London.

    Your yunta, tony.

  13. Oh, TB, you tease, it's OK to dabble in grammatical peccadilloes every now and then ;-)!

    Asere, man, you're right, my bro, the English language will always be more malleable, flexible and permissive than Spanish when it comes to grammar, that's why I can't stand Spanglish! :-D

    Greetings from London.

  14. Qué tal, Cuban

    Esa pintura me gusta mucho. El brazo que cae parece perfecto... a pesar de lo imperfecto del lenguaje y sus effects ;-)

    Saludos desde Berlín,

  15. Preciosa manera de contar una gran verdad. Felicidades..!
    Love this post - The British Council should honour your contribution to the defense of the British Language (as we knew it..!) before it disappears into oblivion..:)

  16. molto interessante, perfetto dal punta di vista artistico.

    E prima che dimentico, un Blog molto ben fatto. Complimenti :)

    Verro´ di frequente qui in futuro.


  17. Hola, agu, me encanta esta pintura y para mi representa el golpe mortal que le hemos dado a la lengua en general, no importa si es alemana, inglesa o hispana.

    Thanks, here, there... hmmm... the Birtish Council, now that would be an honour!

    Salava, bienvenido y gracias. Y saludos para ti también.

    Saludos desde Londres.

  18. Cuanto quisiera estar en Londres. Para ver todo ese arte.

  19. Estamos en una epidemia linguista, y si crees que esta mal en Londres. Debes ver en los Estados Unidos.

  20. Te creo lo de los Estaods Junto, yoli, ya me he asomdao varias veces por aqui y por alla y no puedo creer lo que leo o veo.

    Saludos desde Londres.



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