a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks
reedrover

Webinar on Panama Canal Expansion included Yiddish

This very articulate gent from Panama, who speaks excellent English as well, just ended his presentation explaining that he enjoyed giving his "spiel." I wonder if he thinks it's an English word, or if he knows that American English was cobbled together from British English and anything else they could find to glue a sentence together by a bunch of day laborers, bored kids, and moms-on-budgets, mostly fresh off of the boats in New York harbor.

1890. Yiddish, shpil play, game.
1870. German, spielen to play, from Old High German spilōn; akin to Old English spilian to revel.

And in case anyone doesn't need to stay serious about things, we can talk about how the "rules" of English don't make no dang sense, nohow, even when German had nothing to do with it.



Or we could just be making up the whole thing...
Tags: comics, language&grammar
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