Gendered words

It seems you did so not with reason or deduction, but something akin to female intuition.

London Spy, Episode 2

This quote from London Spy starring Ben Whishaw really got me thinking. But maybe I should set the scene first.

Ben’s character, Danny, is trying to figure out how his boyfriend, Alex Turner, was murdered. In the course of his personal investigation, he meets Alex’s mother. Before that, however, he meets two people claiming to be Alex’s parents. Danny quickly realizes that these people know absolutely nothing about Alex, and they eventually go to Alex’s biological parents’ house.

Alex’s mother, Frances, was sure that Danny would figure out something was off. But she seems to be surprised at how it did it, which is where the quote comes in.

Why is intuition a “female” thing? Guys can sense something’s off just as much as anybody else. I know “hysterical” originally referred to behavior during a woman’s menstrual cycle or something, but that in itself is strange.

Why do we have any words associated with someone’s gender at all? There doesn’t really seem to be any purpose behind it.


Canceled or Cancelled?

This one makes absolutely no sense to me.  And, it’s tripping me up.

I always thought “cancelled” was spelled with two “l”s.  That’s always the way I’d seen it spelled.  At least until now, that is.  These days I’ve seen it spelled more often “canceled”.  I don’t know why this is, but it’s gotten to the point where when I see “cancelled”, it looks like it’s spelled wrong.  I’d love an explanation, but I know it’s probably nothing more than personal preference.  But maybe this does have an explanation:  when did “canceled” become the norm?


Lying or Laying?

This has always been a bit confusing for me.  Yes, even English majors get confused about words.

I know “lying” is the gerund form of “to lie,” and that’s a no brainer.  Lying simply means not telling the truth.

What I’m talking about is something like “So and so is laying down”.  Do we write “laying” or “lying”?  I know I used “laying” in the example, but I’m still not sure. 

And how is it pronounced?  Like “lie” or “lay”?

Oh, and one more thing is it, “She layed down” or “she lied down”?

If anybody can make sense of this post and help me understand how and when to use these conjugations, it would be much appreciated.


The Connotation of Cuss Words

I’ll admit I swear a lot more than I used to. It’s part of the reason my vocabulary seems to have shrunk, which is not exactly something I’m proud of.


A v. An

This is one of my biggest grammar pet peeves.


Advisor or Adviser?

I’ve always been a little confused about the words “advisor” and “adviser”.


That Old Adage

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you.

For someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, these words could not be further from the truth.  

Words cut deep.  Especially when they come from the people who are supposed to be supporting you.

I’m still trying to cope with the sacrifice of my Spanish minor in the name of graduation.  When people say things like “getting the degree is more important,” it’s not easy to bite my tongue.

It’s not easy to explain why I love Spanish either, but I’ll try my best. 

 Freshman year in high school was when it started.  I had a really nice teacher, and it was an easy subject for me.  Fall semester sophomore year was the same.  Spring semester, not so much.  The teacher I had really stressed me out.

Fast forward to college.  Despite not taking Spanish during my last two years in high school, most of what I learned came back to me.  My professor was really nice too.  My respect for Spanish came back too.  I considered the Spanish minor, but I didn’t declare it.

Sophomore year in college, Spanish hit me like a ton of bricks.  My professor, Dr. Massery, was amazing.  She’s actually my bilingual goals.  Not only is she really good at Spanish, but she’s hilarious, caring, and an all-around awesome person. 

Exhibit A:  Fall semester wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.  Even though I was literally doing homework every waking moment, I still somehow managed to fall on my face.  Massery, well, she picked me up and brushed me off.  Just seeing her gives me a crapton of warm and fuzzies; I feel like everything is going to be okay, no matter what happens.  And during finals, she was literally my sanity – that is, she kept me from going out of my mind enough to get through the week.  

After having her for both my Spanish classes that year, I knew I wanted to pursue Spanish as well as English.

It may sound like I’m only in it because the professors are awesome.  Believe me, I struggled with this.  But I’m not.  I’ve always loved Spanish.  I love the way it sounds.  Also, for the most part, Spanish uses less words to say the same thing – very convenient in my opinion.  And, of course, the added bonus:  Spanish speakers are a special group of people because they can pronounce my name correctly on the first try.  But I digress.  

Is it wrong to be inspired by professors I’ve had?  I don’t think so.  Like it or not, teachers do play a part in what I love.  Why is that null and void to some people?  I didn’t choose Massery and my other professors because I knew they were going to be awesome.  Sometimes awesomeness just happens, and I have absolutely no control over it.  It kinda happened like this:

Where are you taking me?

I’m about to change your life.

Then by all means lead the way.

So, I guess my point in saying this is that giving up on Spanish after I’ve realized how much I love it seems like a complete waste.  And it hurts for people to imply that Spanish isn’t useful.  One of my favorite journalists is fluent in Spanish, thank you very much.  People can’t say it isn’t useful, and yet that’s exactly what they do.