Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Whole Nother

Have you ever noticed how often people use this phrase, "A whole nother" ? Do we realize that there is no such thing as a "nother?" I don't know how or why it became acceptable to separate the "a" from the "nother" but we do. I confess, I do it without thinking. And yet, it is wrong. Strange.

I thought of it this morning after hearing my children converse using "for 'cept" instead of "except." Which also reminds me that Ethan cannot seem to grasp that the way he says, "were" is wrong. He says it like "war" except (or maybe for 'cept) it rhymes more with "bar." (though theoretically war and bar should rhyme, but that's another issue). It's to the point where Megan will say, "Ethan! War is not a word!"

The English language is strange. To begin with, it is full of exceptions to rules of grammar and pronunciation. Then, we take liberties to create new words, sometimes without even being aware. I wonder if there are other languages where this is also the case.


EP Mom said...

Language evolves. In high school, I thought I made up "a whole nother" and liked it. Today, the phrase "looking to" grates me a bit.

Sherri said...

There are so many of them!
What about hiney(for a person's bottom). Madison asked me the other day why it was called that. I told her most likely it is a slang, lazy way of saying Hind End. Who knows. I'm thinking there are probably short cuts in all languages, but you are right, the English language is complicated!