Thursday, August 21, 2014

2294 See Hear

Was confronted by the oddness of the American language again recently. I sure am glad I didn't start out speaking a foreign tongue.

Case in point. The other day someone texted me who I hadn't had any contact with for awhile. Interestingly, both of us could have phoned. We each had unlimited calling plans. But no, we exchanged a few texts in that lovely warm conversational manner you can only achieve with typing. 

When we got ready to sign off I texted, "Nice to hear from you," and was immediately struck by the inadequacy of the word "hear" to describe the process that had just taken place. There was no sound involved. The other person certainly didn't supply it. Perhaps the sounds of my aging finger joints popping as I typed could be described as something I could hear, but my text partner couldn't be said to have supplied it.

And yet we've been using that word to describe communication from actual letters, postcards, and emails for years. 

The point was driven home when I received an email from a client back east who had an obviously foreign-sounding name. In response to an email I'd sent her she said, "Nice to read from you."

Another phrase I'd like not to see is, "Taking a selfie." Or maybe just the word "selfie" itself. Which now, unfortunately, has a companion word that refers to a group picture. And I guess because "groupie" is already taken, that word is "us-sie."

As in, "We are taking an us-sie of ourselves at the party." As opposed to we-ie. At first I didn't like it, because it sounded like hussy. 

But I suppose it'll do. Now that I've typed it in print I can give it a fair hearing.

America, ya gotta love it. 

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