In class we discussed how words can be said differently, or have different definitions. Some people may have seen those posts on social media that say things like “Read and read, and you just read those differently” or something close. These memes are popular because it shows us that language is strange, we can read words that are spelled the same way in two different ways. We also can go back to the internet debate on how to say the word “gif”, with a hard or soft “G” sound. There are many words like this in the English language.
In the book Zone One by Colson Whitehead, there are many words that one may not know how to say, such as “defenestration”, the act of throwing something or someone out of a window, or “enamored”, having a liking or admiration. There are also many words throughout the book that many people just did not know what they meant, and therefore struggle to say. An example of this is “Ronkonkoma”, which is actually a place located on Long Island, but the book uses the word to mean some sort of STI. “Ronkonkoma? he asked, holding one of the HR ladies’ licenses. “Had a lump of that on our crotch once”(Whitehead 69). The book takes some words and creates new definitions for them that fit the context of the book.
Words also can be differently said because of geography. We know that in the United States alone there are many different accents that make words sound different, and they are still evolving to this day. Words like “caramel”, “egg”, “tournament”, and “elementary”, as well as many others have different pronunciations. They all have the same meaning, but depending on where you live, you may say them differently than another person from somewhere else. There are many accents throughout the United States, as well as many more across the globe. Many words have the same definition, but different ways of saying them as you travel the world.
In conclusion, words are complex. We may not always know what they mean, or how to say them, and sometimes they even are made up or have made up definitions. Words also can be pronounced differently depending on region. Words will always be a complex thing in our world, as they are necessary to communication. Words are needed in a functioning society, even if they are pictures, it is still a means of communication.