I’ve found myself thinking today. Possibly thinking too deeply. Thinking about those random catchphrases we tend to use in everyday conversation that we know instantly what we are referring to, but the phrase itself is so far from what we are describing they actually make little or no sense at all.
For example, “He swims like a fish” we take to mean ‘he swims really good’. OK, this does make a little sense until you realise that it is completely wrong. He swims like a man swimming really well is what we should be saying, but that sounds worse. And there is no way he could swim like a fish as he isn’t a fish! I don’t swim like a fish but I swim. Maybe the phrase swimming like a fish should be used to those with graceful aquatic athletic abilities, and for people who swim like me the phrase should be “He swims like something floating in the water” But then, maybe not…
Another example is “Cool as a cucumber”. I’ve used this phrase before in one of my posts, but what does it actually mean? Cucumbers are cool straight from the fridge, but they aren’t as cool after they have been left out for a while. No, I’m only joking. Of course I know that the ‘cool’ in this case refers to ‘chill man’ rather than ‘brrr’, but still? How many cucumbers have you seen that have relaxed you? And why not use carrot or courgette? Because they don’t sound right, that’s why. So why does cucumber?
A third example is “Many a little makes a mickle”. Alright, you’ve caught me out. I’ve only just heard this one, but I like it! It means many small amounts accumulate to make a large amount, with a mickle being an old English word meaning ‘much’. To think of it in a slightly different way, everything builds up the bigger picture; whatever we have builds to the abundance we have in our lives. Is it better to have a little of a lot of things or a lot of one thing? I’d go for variety every time!
That’s the problem with thinking too deeply about things. It is very easy to fit things together, but not always easy to get things right. Which is probably why we very often make mountains out of molehills rather than just going with the flow. And going with the flow is so much easier… have you ever tried to make a mountain out of a molehill?
Catchphrases… enough already!
It is day two in my challenge to post every day. Day two. Three hundred and sixty three days to go. And my mind is blank. Arrgh! There is nothing in there at all. Nothing. It is completely empty. Hollow in fact. It makes a nice change, to be honest… No! Think about this post…
Yes, I’m aware that I’ve posted today already. That was my normal post. This is my postaday2011 post. I did say that I wanted to post more, and expected to be able to do just that until February at least, and I will. February and beyond. That sounds like the next Buzz Lightyear movie, ‘To February and Beyond!’ It is bound to be a rip-roaring success if ever they make it. If anyone from Hollywood is reading this post, I can do an excellent dashing hero voice if you are short of anyone to play Buzz. Do actors ‘play’ the animated characters they are adding the voices to? Before you say “but, but” and then quickly make up a reason for not hiring me to play the part, I’ve been told that I sound like Brian Blessed at times. Well, once, and that was when I got a little over-excited on a phone call in work. Well, it was the salutation and I wanted to make an impression on the caller.
That has reminded me of my first job, when I worked on the telephones. I developed a really ‘plammy’ accent whenever I answered a call. All of my colleagues were doing it too, it wasn’t only me, so I was just keeping up with the Joneses. Thinking back, I don’t know why we all had these posh telephone voices – we were speaking to local people, so we would have had the same accent as them anyway, but we ‘had’ to speak differently on the phones. We weren’t trained that way, or even asked to do it, we just did. I don’t know if the people who called Directory Enquiries even realised we were doing it either. We do some weird things at times, don’t we? I think I started to tone it down slightly after a couple of years as I started to speak that way in real life.
Accents are funny things too. You wouldn’t think it would be possible to say a word so differently to a person from another town or country, and some, I’m sorry to say don’t even sound like the word should sound. And speaking of countries, I can not speak another language other than English. I can say the odd word in French (avec, moi) but that wouldn’t get me very far if I found myself lost in France. Ooh, another movie – Hollywood, I’ll be no good for this one. I can say a couple of words in German, Welsh and Spanish too, but again I’m appalling. If ever I find myself in conversation with a French, German, Welsh or Spanish person, I find myself speaking in very slow English. That’s fine if they can speak English, but not much good if they can’t. Luckily for me, most can. I mean to say though, if they spoke to me in, say, very slow French, I’d be none the wiser. I remember being in Canada once and I was asking a shop assistant a question, in my slower and not plummy accent. I don’t think she understood me and she spoke English. Accents!
I’ve just found out an interesting fact about the word ‘accent’ though. The Latin version is ad cantus, meaning to (ad) and song (cantus) – which makes sense really. When we speak I suppose we are singing. And no, Hollywood, no amount of money will pay me to sing for you! Voice-overs are one thing, but to ask me to appear in Mamma Mia 2 is taking things just a little bit too far…