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Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Stepping on the soapbox: Linguist edition (part I)

Why in THE WORLD does “slip” transform to “slippery” and not “slippy?”

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I am a bonafide linguist. An expert in the field. The greatest today (sorry Chomsky). After all, I took one single linguistics course and barely scraped by with an A (in my defense, my mental health in the fall of 2020 was held together by goo). Linguistics majors have been shaking since. They can’t lace my boots. They can barely look me in the eye as I tower over them with my humongous brain — and often literally as well. 

With all that being said, it is time to engage in a tipsy tirade. I’ve drank a lot of my favorite IPA. It is called “Schwa.” More, uh, popular than you know. So, uh, now I must get on my soapbox. Enough “uh’s” for the day. It is time to set the record straight when it comes to how language SHOULD work. It is not hard!!!

  1. Iraq. Iran. Places Americans are no stranger to. After all, these countries power the white suburban savior complex. However, have people ever stopped to recognize how to pronounce these countries’ names right? Iraq and Iran are not Apple products. Miss me with that iRaq and iRan pronunciation, especially when you can nail words like Rathskeller and Bratwurst and Lederhosen. Non-white proper nouns shouldn’t have to cater to your lack of linguistic ability. 
  2. On a similar note, countries ending with -stan. -Stan is derived from Persian and essentially means “land of.” But leave it to y’all to say -stan like stan, the word used to describe hormonal Twitter teens salivating over someone like Harry Styles. You’re cool, Harry, but this mispronunciation ruins everything.
  3. This point isn’t aimed at any person. Instead, it is just the English language being weird. Why in THE WORLD does “slip” transform to “slippery” and not “slippy?” If “mess” isn’t “messery'' and “run” isn’t “runnery,” why is “slip” “slippery?”  I didn’t register this as weird until it was pointed out to me back in 2020. I haven’t been able to forget since. Brits informally use the word “slippy” — I say we steal something from them for once.
  4. Compressing words while texting is great. I have only ever interacted with a handful of freaks — I mean that in the best way possible — who use perfect spelling and grammar in EVERY text. Most of us use acronyms quite frequently. However, let’s be judicious with their use, PLEASE. What’s jfc, kmt and fwiw?? No, I won’t ttyl lmao, smh. I want to be able to read sentences, not alphabet soup. Think of acronyms as icing for sentences. The right amount is awesome, but too much icing ends up ruining the dessert — as tempting as it may be to overdo it. 

It seems my buzz is wearing off and I must rest. Off the soapbox I go. I don’t feel as persnickety anymore. The Brits say pernickety. Couldn’t be me. I will be back with more — you better believe it. 

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Anupras Mohapatra

Anupras Mohapatra is a former opinion editor for The Daily Cardinal and currently serves on the Editorial Board. He is a senior double majoring in Computer Science and Journalism. 


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