Ben Oostdam story # 565


My swimming buddy Kevin told me about his bicycle trip through Holland
when he ran into a Dutch village where an ordinance disallowed cycling on Sunday,

That got me talking about other strange things in Holland, like inconsistent pronunciations.
(I used to think that Dutch was far more logical in that than English, but I was wrong)
For example, they (the Dutch) say:

"regenen" (ray gun - un) and "regeren" (ru gay run)...

(I am obviously lousy at phonetics but if you are Dutch you will know what I mean.
If not, don't even try, it took me six years to learn Dutch and six months for English...)

"What's that in English?", he asked.

"to rain" and "to reign"

I answered, for the first time noticing that
in English these words are written different but sound similar,
while in Dutch they are written the same but sound different..

"Of course," I said, "you could use "to rule" instead of "to reign"...."

where the word "rule" would translate to something like:

"regelen" (ray gul - un)

(At this time, I did not omit to inject some thoughts about the two times in history
that a Dutch William married an English Mary and
to which preference or orientation of the second William
we owe it that nowadays not all English people speak Dutch...)

As you may wel surmise, however, the hardest part was not to tell him the difference between a :

beklemtoonde en onbeklemtoonde "e"
(stressed and unstressed "e")

but how to bring up the hard Dutch letter "g" from the bottom of his throat....

Fortunately, at that very moment, an unknown fellow locker room user
walked past us and helped out with:

"GVD, klootzak, boerenlul, hoe gaat het met je??"

So that's what some fellow Dutchman apparently considered to be the sum total
of all the Dutch language which a fellow American can absorb and memorize...
Your homework assignment for tomorrow will be in three parts:
(Like Caesar's Gaul, or Trinity):

(1) to Google William and Mary twice
(2) to find who "GBS" was and:
(3) how he explained that the word "ghoti" - in English is pronounced "fish"...

BLO fecit 20100212 - stories