Thursday, 18 March 2010

'The World English Dictionary'.

I failed to think about the fact I was going to be living as the 'foreigner' for six months before I left for New Zealand. It's not that I look out of place, or act out of place, or have different cultural/religious views but the main thing that has shocked me is the different language we speak. 

Obviously the British and New Zealanders main language is English but I was not aware that alot of the time it feels like we are speaking different languages (not even because of the bad English on my part!). This is furthered by the fact that I am around many Americans and other Europeans alot of the time, and for example if I am in a conversation with someone from Chicago and someone from Auckland, we could literally all by talking about something completely different. An example of this was just today we were trying to pin our hair up with 'kirby grips' (in my terms), but 'bobby pins' to the American and 'hair clips' to the Kiwi. Long story short but this resulted in two of us buying the same hair pins to come home to two of us already owning them! We can literally barely go a sentence without someone having to question at least once what another is talking about!

Despite the fact this becomes a tad annoying (especially when in New Zealand they use the American way of spelling and believe it is true English) it proves the question why do we have these differences and why are we so reluctant to change our ways? Yes, it is to do with tradition, the age of countries, the power the country has, the people in charge of that, not forgetting us accepting this is how things are even if change is beneficial.

 Yes, it would be an immense amount of effort to change the way people live you could call it, to change all highways so everyone drives on the same side of the road, to completely start again with currency so every country is 'equal', not to mention the arguments that would occur going through each dictionary and choosing each word that is going to be exhibited in 'The World Dictionary'!

I don't know what difference this would make to the world or the people, if it would benefit or simply confuse every one of us. It is like changing the way we live to benefit people for generations to come. When this is said it is impossible not to think about the environment and how we are trying to 'save our planet'! Our little changes of recycling, using less packaging etc is hopefully going to save our world one day, but really what we need is a complete redesign, similar to creating one dictionary for each language, and a redesign of our brains. If this 'World English Dictionary' for example sounds out of this world, how does the thought of taking cars away from every country for everyone... surely that would help global warming a tad..

Just an idea.

1 comment:

  1. I think they tried to make a universal language for europe at one point but nothing happened to it because noone could be bothered. I think alot of spelling differences and different terms for things come from A. in school you're told to sound-it-out e.g Liecester isn't pronounce Lester so people will change it. B. slang terms become so popular they are considered as a proper word and placed in the dictionary, like some words that are archaic only are so out of conversation they are omitted from the dictionary. The english language is wierd.