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April 28, 2010

Ladle Rat Rotten Hut Revisited - On Stage

There's nothing like seeing the English language performed and mangled beyond recognition. In fact sometimes the mangling makes it more interesting and certainly more fun. There are many familiar stories and fairy tales, but...

...sometimes it helps to see it in a new light.

Drew Letchworth does a phenomenal job of presenting Ladle Rat Rotten Hut to a live (and lively) audience. I do my best to engage with my students - but I can't even come close to this. Check out a video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl7_J-reLxg.

It might be fun to have your students read out loud along with this video.

Youtube is a wonderful venue for exploring - or presenting - performance art of any kind.

The English language seems particularly hospitable to such affectionate mangling. The English language is like a persistent linguistic weed - it seems to flourish the more you mangle and mess with it. Thanks to the sheer number of words in the language, we can take words far beyond and outside of their intended meanings. In fact we can distort perfectly good words and yank them from their contexts to make entirely new stories, songs and unexpected creations.

Send me your mangled memos, your garbled utterances, your misheard song lyrics, scrambled slang and misunderstood Americanisms. Accidental or deliberate, these stray words and phrases are continually enriching our language.

Many linguists may not agree, but I am convinced that this constant shifting and churning of our language primarily illuminates facets or aspects of our language most of us would never notice.

We are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foreign foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at April 28, 2010 11:01 PM

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