Monday, February 1, 2010

Where has my grammar gone?

Yes, I fear it is true. I think my grammar is falling apart. This is quite sad for a girl who prides herself on both speaking and writing correctly. Ok, so my grammar may not exactly be disappearing. You likely cannot detect any deterioration in my blog least not yet. However, I certainly feel like I am losing the ability to speak correctly. Because I spend so much time speaking with and working with people whose first language is not English and many of them have a very limited English vocabulary, I find myself only using necessary words. What does this mean? It means that my conversations often look somewhat like the following:

Moto driver on the street: Moto, lady?
Me: Yeah. I go Sovanna.
Moto driver: (stares blankly at me)
Me: Sowanna (same location as before, but I use a different inflection.)
Moto driver: (continues to stare blankly)
Me: I show you, yeah?
Moto driver: ok, ok


Me: How much for scarf?
Seller: Oh, for you sister, $3.
Me: Oh, cannot pay more than $1.
Seller: Oh, sister, for you special price $2.50.
Me: Cannot pay more than $1.
Seller: Oh, very good. For me $2. I sell to you $2.50.
Me: Oh, maybe come back.
Seller: Oh sister, $2 for you.
Me: Cannot pay more than $1. Maybe come back. (Start to walk away)
Seller: Ok, ok. $1.50 for you.
And, so on.

Anyway, these are but a couple of examples of how I have stopped using proper English and have reverted to toddlerhood. The only difference between a toddler's English and mine is that all the English-speaking adults around me are starting to speak the same way rather than correcting my errors!
So, next time you hear a toddler begin to put sentences together, toss up a prayer for me that I won't completely lose my ability to put together a grammatically correct sentence!

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