Historically Speaking

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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Article: Unintentional Changes

Posted by Admin on January 13, 2016

Living languages are fluid.  New words are added while archaic words are left to gather dust on the shelf.  Sometimes new words are a result of invented words authors have created to fit their stories.  Sometimes new words are a result of misspelling.  And in the case I’m about to share, should this word ever become a new word included in the dictionary, it will be as a result of ignorance and social media oversharing.

The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) published a story on their website that has its roots as much in politics as it does in social media with a side trip to whole language reading and writing, and illiteracy.  Earlier this week, Kevin O’Leary offered to invest $1 Million CDN into Alberta’s energy industry on the condition that Premier Rachel Notley resign.  This in turn led to a number of spirited discussions on social media, with some defending O’Leary, and others defending Notley.

One of these discussions yielded this exchange among some Facebook people.

kudatah-facebook-2

Needless to say, the “new” word kudatah is actually a misspelling of the real phrase (which is made up of two words), coup d’état which, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means a “violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.”  The pronunciation of this phrase is kü-dā-ˈtä or phonetically speaking koo-day-tah.

It’s easy to see how someone who struggles with a language (even if it’s the person’s mother tongue) could spell the word with quotation marks as Maure Kyle did.

INTERESTING NOTE 1:  Maure Kyle has since deactived his Facebook account.

Tyler Bienderra came to Maure Kyle’s defense when others pointed out Maure Kyle’s spelling mistake.  He insisted that Maure Kyle was using the English spelling and not the French spelling of the word (points to Tyler for creativity), dragging misspellings of his own into the discussion.

When the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) published an article on their website about the discussion, Tyler defended his use of the word spelt by arguing that it could be spelled that way and be correct.  Except that Tyler is from Grande Prairie, Alberta in Canada and because of this, his defense fails miserably.

If you live in Canada or the U.S., the accepted use is spelled.  If you live in the UK, the accepted use is spelt although spelled is generally accepted.  Spelt is used in North America to refer to a kind of wheat.  But regardless of how he chose to spell the phrase — spelled or spelt — what made his comment humorous was the fact that coup d’état in French is written exactly the same way in English.

This situation has yielded a great many memes included this politically charged meme poking fun at both the misspelled word and the suggestion made by Maure Kyle.

Kudatah Happening Soon

There was also this meme that incorporated a nice Lion King Disney feel to it for added political punch.

Kudatah Matata

This meme had Inigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride” deliver the message that the word in question didn’t exist.

Kudatah_Princess Bride

And, of course, if you’re going to lay claim to using the UK spelling of the word spelled, and you insist on defending the murder of a perfectly good phrase like coup d’état, the Queen of England absolutely must weigh in on the matter, meme-wise.

Kudatah_Royal

Whole language reading and writing is a sight-based only method that leaves the individual without strategies for reading unknown words.  It also relies heavily on guessing, and encourages “invented” spelling.

Studies have proven the phonics instruction is superior to whole language instruction as those who were taught phonics have strong word identification, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension skills which are very weak in those who were taught whole language instead.

However if social media and the #kudatah hashtag are sufficiently influential, it’s possible that within a few years, the word could find its way into the dictionary regardless of whether language purists agree.  Still, this is the way words,phrases, idioms, expression, clichés, sayings, et al change over the generations.

Elyse Bruce
Owner and Author
Idiomation: Historically Speaking

P.S.  Kudatah, I am led to believe, is the name that J.J. Abrams considered for Princess Leia and Han Solo’s son before he settled on Benjamin Kylo Ren — or Ben Ren to his friends.

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Thanking Those Who Visit Idiomation

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2013

I want to thank each and every one of my readers and visitors for visiting Idiomation in 2013.  Over the past year, Idiomation has continued to grow and our “Friends Of Idiomation” has increased in number.  As we make our way towards 2014, I’d like to share some milestones with you.

With hundreds of unique hits to the blog daily, our best day was March 12 with 579 hits!  While many of those visits went to the “Devil’s Bedpost” entry, there were other entries that were nearly as popular as the “Devil’s Bedpost.”

Busiest Day_Unique Hits_IMAGE

With hundreds of unique visits each and every day, it’s easy to understand how our monthly totals are in the five digits every single month (and in the six digits for the yearly total)!

Top 5 Idioms in 2013_IMAGE

As popular as the “Devil’s Bedpost” was, there were 5 idioms that garnered excellent averaged hits throughout 2013.  I was surprised to learn what the top 5 idioms were, and at the same time, pleased to see that many of them had their roots in serious literature.

I wasn’t surprised to see that Facebook and Twitter were among the top 5 referring sites in 2013.  But I was pleased to see that the Smithsonian and Wikipedia snagged the #2 and #3 spots respectively on the list of top referring sites, with Yahoo! Answers rounding out the group.

Top Referring Sites in 2013_IMAGE

This year, the blog spawned the first in a series of books, and is available through Amazon.com.  Just click HERE to visit Amazon and pick up your copy of “Idiomation: Book 1” and look for a follow-up book in months to come.

Idiomation_Book_1_Cover

I’m looking forward to adding more idioms to the blog in 2014, making IDIOMATION one of the premiere blogs for important information on idioms used in English-speaking countries around the world.

As the last few hours of 2013 bring us closer to 2014, I’m thanking all of you for visiting this blog site as well as my other blog sites — the Elyse Bruce blog, the Missy Barrett blog, and the Midnight In Chicago blog — as well as my Twitter (@ElyseBruce and @glassonastick), ReverbNation, SoundClick,  and Facebook profiles (both my personal Timeline as well as my Fan Page), and my websites: Midnight In Chicago, and Elyse Bruce.

May 2014 bring you health, wealth and happiness, and may all your heart’s desires come true this coming year.  I’m looking forward to seeing you back here in 2014 to read up on the histories of some of your favorite idioms, and to find out the meaning and histories of idioms you’ve always wondered about.

Elyse Bruce

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WordPress Reviews Idiomation’s First Year

Posted by Admin on January 2, 2011

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010 — Idiomation‘s first year in existence — and here’s a summary of this site’s overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter reads This blog is doing awesome!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747 400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2010. That’s about 7 full 747s.

Started on January 20th, there were 219 new posts; not bad for the first year!

The most popular post was She’s A Pip.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, en.search.wordpress.com, twitter.com, and alphainventions.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for never cast a clout till may is out, she’s a pip, absence makes the heart grow fonder shakespeare, never cast a clout, and wewoka switch.

Attractions in 2010

Thanks to WordPress and our readers for supporting the Idiomation blog site.  And to end off this blog entry, here are the top 5 posts and pages of 2010!

1

She’s A Pip July 2010

2

Never Cast A Clout Until May Is Out March 2010

3

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder March 2010

4

Friends of Idiomation March 2010

5

I Brook No Truck With You July 2010

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