Reading is good.

Filed on 01 September 2021 in Food For Thought category. Print This Page

Reading is good.

“We read to know we’re not alone” from Shadowlands, first a BBC Teleplay, then stage adaptation, then film by William Nicholson about CS Lewis – well worth watching again and then re-reading The Narnia Chronicles where the title of Shadowlands comes from.

Reading is good.

But if we only have the option of reading and not hearing the written word spoken and – unless we travel with a pronunciation dictionary beside us – then we are likely to mis-pronounce words in common use.

Some surnames of course can be a difficulty all on their own and sometimes even change in their pronunciation as time goes by to fit in with common use.

Amusingly some commonly mispronounced words can be used not only in their correct context but also in a strange way be symbolic of their meaning.

Mizzled is such a word – yes, properly spelt as misled and properly pronounced as miss-led as two words then that clearly establish its meaning. But although mispronouncing it for somewhere between one and two decades as mizzled – until corrected I think by my amused sister-in-law – I knew exactly what it meant even while being misled as to its pronunciation.

I confess I like it as mizzled. It adds a touch of mystery to when it is used in situations of confusion and deliberate intent and when used in a triumphant way “aha, you’ve been mizzled, haven’t you!”

I like it and will occasionally deliberately use it. I don’t think anyone will object because they will understand exactly what I mean and if they do query it I will mislead them with great glee and embellish and exaggerate the story and mizzle them completely with hyperbole – ah, and that is my next word.

Hyperbole! What a delightful word. It can mean whatever I want it to mean and it will probably serve its purpose even as this strange little paper may be wont to do. It was just a few days ago that I heard someone say – in the correct context – hie-per-bowl.

It immediately identified her – to me at least – as a reader, like myself. I was even sympathetic although my laugh probably undid that.

It tempts me to go off in raptures of dizzying heights and plumbing depths to extol the unparalleled riches and meanings of the inexorable language that we call English but that would lead me on to further useless and unbridled meaningless chatter that so characterizes this method of communication that I shall resist the temptation otherwise I would not ever bring this meaningless little piece to a merciful and timely end.

PS you do know how to pronounce it, don’t you? Feel free to ask someone…

PS2 I need a nap.

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