English As A Second Language

When I got married, I moved to a rural area of Ohio, with my husband and close to his family. I took me a while to learn what some of the things they said meant. A couple of good examples are these: My husband worked for a demolition company and he and his friends kept talking about something called a “Bacco”. I thought they were using some slang for Tobacco. I couldn’t figure out what tobacco had to do with construction and demolition. I finally figured out they were talking about a type of heavy equipment called a Back Hoe. I could have asked, but I frequently make use of the adage. “Keep your mouth shut and look dumb, or open your mouth and remove all doubt..”


Then when someone was sick, my mother-in-law and father-in-law would say they were “hippoed”. I eventually learned they were using slang to say people were hypochondriacs. They were just pronouncing hypo as hippo. There were many other things that either I didn’t understand or they didn’t.

Communication was frequently difficult for me. I would say things in proper English grammar and they would say, “What?’  I would have to think of a way to say things that they could understand.  Eventually, my speech became increasingly slang prone. 

When I think or write, I do it in the proper grammar. It is like thinking in English and then having to translate it into Spanish, or thinking in Spanish and trying to translate it into English. I am not being arrogant. It is just that I was taught grammar by very good teachers and it stuck. I wonder just how many other areas in the U.S. who are being hindered by English teachers who don’t do their jobs? I also wonder if people who know me personally and hear my day to day speech will read my journals and think it doesn’t sound like me? Maybe I should make an entry in my journals to explain the difference in “voice”. 

Genealogy Site I Found

I found an interesting genealogy site. There are some entries about journaling and how to find old books online. I love to read, so that was an added bonus. Because it is a genealogy blog, the journaling parts urge you to journal because it will become a treasure to your family and others when you die. I don’t know if my family likes what I say in the here and now, so, I’m counting on my grandchildren or great grandchildren. LOL

In addition to genealogy, journaling and reading being some of my favorite words, free ranks right up there. The blog shows how to get the most out of project Gutenberg. I knew they had free books, but I didn’t know they had so many different ways to utilize them. I expect to use the downloadable stuff on my Ipod, soon. Here is the link