By the Bye, You Learn Stuff Reading

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I've picked up many colloquialisms over the years, and it is often humorous when people say what they hear, even if it doesn't make sense. For example, I once overheard someone say that something was happening "for all intensive purposes*."

That made me smile. Those purposes sure do get intense at times.

Of course, I can merely smile because I've had my fair share of misquotes.

I have long loved the phrase "by the by." It feels far more proper/pompous to say, "I'm a pompous person, by the by," instead of "by the way." "By the by" also seems to require a British accent--which I can't do--which just makes the whole thing even better.

Last night, my wife finally convinced me to start reading "Perelandra" out loud to her. Within a few pages, C.S. Lewis has penned "by the bye."

<wha?>

So, I looked it up. It seems that "by the bye" is the older way of writing "by the by." Which is odd, by the bye, because shouldn't there be some sort of meaning attached to these words that would render one nonsensical?

Apparently not.

No wonder English is so confusing.

So there you have it. I learned something new... sort of. I guess it isn't exactly "new," per se, more that I learned something more.

Also, turns out that bears don't hibernate. Wasn't aware of that.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*Should be: "...for all intents and purposes": As in, this happened because someone purposed and intended that it should.

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6 Comments

  1. Sue

    It's great to hear from another careful user of the English language.

    - Sue, a word snob

  2. Kimmie

    So much to learn and so very little time. Oh, though how I love the British...never can have enough of anything British.

    Thanks for your prayer for me the other day...I was very encouraged by the support of that wee little post.

    thanks again.

    Kimmie
    mama to 6
    one homemade and 5 adopted

  3. Marian

    My favorite is how often people "could've cared less" about something. You know, instead of "could not have cared less", when there's a complete absence of concern?

  4. MandyMom.com

    Hmm... interesting! I know it's horrible, but the more children I have, the worse my English. It's probably because I'm around jibberjabbers all day.

    -Former word snob. ;)

  5. Julie

    Lovin' it!! I worked at a nursery for years and frequently had people asking if a vine was "evasive." I had to restrain myself from replying, "No, it's usually right where you left it." (You know, of course, they meant "invasive", in other words, "Is this vine gonna eat my yard?") LOL!!!
    Julie

  6. Luke

    I'm an aspiring word snob, which is why my wife got me the "Dictionary of Disagreeable English." It's hysterical... to me.

    I've heard plenty of people say "could've cared less," but I've not run into people asking if something was "evasive." That's funny!

    I have taken a clue for parenting from Adventures in Odyssey: I tend to "jabber" at babies by reminding them that E=MC^2. <smile>

    Thank you all for commenting! I love hearing from all y'all.

    ~Luke