Archive for the ‘E.S.L.’ Category

I.D. or idea?

Posted by admin on March 26th, 2009  •  No Comments »

English is our second language. We arrived in America knowing 3 words. Eight days after leaving Spijkenisse we found ourselves enrolled in 6 classes where we did not understand anything. We cried that first day in Math. The road ahead looked long, the climb steep. In those early days of E.S.L. there were times we felt despair. Words like vegetable were our undoing. Who came up with the pronounciation of that g? Why was it not pronounced vegga-table? And those soft t’s! A Dutch t requires a firm press of the tongue against the teeth. Suddenly now our tongue was expected to go limp. Eventually though, we got it. But some words we just never warmed up to. Some words we just decided were simply wrong. They did not fit us. We do not approve of their existence, the extra work they require to say them correctly. This was the falling out we experienced with ‘idea.’ We find ourselves struggling to transition from the e to the a. It’s a word that just absolutely vexes us. It ruins our day having to pause mid-sentence, thinking through the weird throat movements involved and then with great trepidation trying to get through it. But we never get through it. It feels like a date with someone you wrote off long ago, but in a moment of weakness, you still agree to go to coffee. Right away you feel regret. It’s so clear there is no match. You run away at your earliest opportunity mostly angry with yourself for breaking down once again. We want to run away from idea. It makes us feel like we are still in E.S.L. Thus, the relationship has come to an end; unlike our capitulation to vegetable, we refuse to submit to idea. We have decided to pronounce the word the only way it makes sense to us – I.D. No more hesitation, no more stop and go. No more pre-pronounciation anxiety. To us it will always be I.D. We find it far easier to endure the weird looks, the giggles, the comments we face after saying it than we find the uphill battle of actually trying. We thought we would offer our readers the joys of making fun of us by writing the word the way we would say it, starting on our ‘About’ page. Laughter is always a good I.D.

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