Saturday, January 06, 2007

Basilectically speaking...

Sometimes I wonder whether other people have to wonder as much as I do about speaking, before they speak. Thinking before they speak, I mean. Oh, you know what I mean.

For example, today I was in the car with my sister and we were listening to 'oldies music' - you know, music from the 50's and 60's on AM radio. Anyhow, a song came on and the guy singing used the word "ain't" instead of "isn't" - probably in a sentence like "ain't it a shame" or "this house just ain't no home anymooooore" (which makes me also think about how often song-writers overuse the same old tired phrases). But anyways, hearing the word 'ain't' made me start thinking about how rarely we use it in conversation - you usually only hear it in a song. If you heard someone actually say ain't out loud in a sentence you wonder about their education level or you assume they're doing it to be amusing. But if you hear it in a song, you just think... well, you either think nothing of it because you're not overly analytical or maybe you think "Wow, this guy can get away with bad grammar because he's so cool." Or whatever.

Then I was thinking about how maybe singers prefer the word ain't instead of isn't because isn't is such an ugly sounding word - I mean, say it out loud and it sounds scratchy like sandpaper. And also, ain't is only 1 syllable rather then 3! So it would probably suck to have sing the word isn't over and over again.

The point is - this was just one of those stupid little conversations you have with yourself in your head in the span of about 3 seconds. And usually you keep them to yourself because they're so trivial. But sometimes when I'm tired or feeling extremely giddy (usually due to caffeine overload) I actually have to question whether sharing the thought I had about the word ain't would be wise or not. I mean, would my sister go, "Wow! I'd never thought about that! Thank you for enlightening me!" Or would she just stare at me blankly and wonder about my IQ...

I think this is a case for Calvin & Hobbes.

Too bad they took the decade off. *sigh*

3 comments:

Elliot said...

LOL hee hee hee...

I totally know what you're talking about - that last paragraph is so true...

As for 'ain't' I think it depends on what region you live in. Some places 'ain't' gets used as a regular word without anyone wondering about it. Like 'y'all.'

TheBrightGreySpot said...

Me too, I always think about things like that! One of my hobbies is - nerdy as it sounds - "counting syllables." That is, thinking about why people chose which words they used and whether or not their speech is as efficient as it should be.

I disagree though: "isn't" is only two syllables, not three!

Anactoria said...

Whoops, you are so right! I wonder if I was originally thinking of a different word...

I should adjust my post! :P