Tuesday, 2 October 2012

"You come from a land devoid of vowels!"

When moving here, I made the conscious decision to continue to spell ''American.''  That means no ''tyres,'' ''kurbs,'' ''colours,'' or ''realises" (they really don't like "z's"...or should I say "zeds" on this island!)  My argument is that I'm pretty sure there is not enough room in my brain to squeeze in the all veterinary material I'm required to know, so I can't justify wasting any space RE-learning how to spell.

I have enough of a hard time trying to figure out what people are talking about when they pronounce words I already know differently! Case in point:  "Duodenum," which I pronounce DO-ODD-E-NUMB. If my professor pronounces it DO-O-DEE-NUMB, then with the accent I think they're just saying "Jejunum" funny, and that's a different area of the small intestine entirely!!  A girl can get herself confused!! I've caught myself on occasion saying "capillary" wrong (CA-PILL-A-REE...what nonsense!) but I've quickly put an end to that habit by just saying "tiny blood vessels."  It makes me sound really scientific, but at least saves me the embarrassment of committing treason against my mother tongue. :)

The other reason I can't bother to learn the British spelling of words is lack of time!  Roughly 14 hours of the day I'm already devoting to actively incorporating British expressions into my everyday language so that I have a nice souvenir when I ever return to the States.   This includes words like "lovely," "brilliant" (but NOT the slang "tots bril!" YUCK!), "cheers," and "bollocks," plus some lesser known expressions like "mingin" and "moppet." (Note, the rest of the day is comprised of about 2 hours making sure I keep in my Southern "yes, maam's" and the final 8 I'm fast asleep! There just isn't any time for spelling!)

This has worked well enough for me thus far.  I recently gave an entire 12-minute long power-point presentation about hematopoietic tumors in dogs, and never once wrote "haematopoietic" on the slides.  No one made any mention of my "misspelling" but then again I have yet to receive that grade, so we'll have to wait and see!  As I attend a supposedly very world institution, though, you'd think as long as I wrote in English (American or UK!) all would be accepted...

"My only comment is that on this side of the Atlantic we spell oesophagus with an 'o.'"

I guess it all comes down to personal preference and patriotism of the grader, though.  Thankfully no marks were deducted, because I still refuse to change my ways!!


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