The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

A Little Spelling Magic

Hey, y’all. Glad you’re back. Take your shoes off and set a spell.*

I have come to realize that most of the craziness I read is either on the Yahoo! home page (thanks, Terribly Write, for being with me on that) or on Facebook. I am all for writing to the occasion: a business letter should be worded differently from an email to a friend. I understand that FB is a casual forum. But that’s not what I’m talking about here . . . I am puzzled that so many folks think that if you just toss together certain combinations of letters, you read them phonetically, and they sound like an actual word then they MUST be an actual word. Tired yet? So am I.

Today’s smacking-my-forehead-because-I-see-it-so-often word is “wala.” Sometimes it’s spelled “walah” or “vwala” or “walla” or even the nicely hyphenated “wa-la.” Hey, y’all . . . those letters arranged in those combinations don’t make real English words. Not at all, in fact.

With my skill of using context clues that I learned in 3rd grade, I seem to think you mean that what you just described happened just like that, poof, as if by magic. That’s what you meant? Cool. Then the word for you is “voilà.”(You don’t have to put the accent on it. I just do because I like the way it looks.)

It’s magic, y’all.

I have long tried to combat this confusion by, when I say it, pronouncing it just like the woman’s name “Viola,” with a heavy emphasis on the VI. I thought that perhaps my funny little joke would trigger the listener to analyze the situation and take note, henceforth and forever using “voilà.” That hasn’t worked.

So I guess I’ll just keep fighting the good fight and writing my little grammar blog. I’ve been trucking along the last number of weeks and VOILÀ! I’m now up to over 100 Facebook followers. Thanks for your support. Keep coming by and send your friends!

*“Set a spell” = sit down and visit for a little while. And I think the expression is usually “take your coat off.” But I don’t have the need to wear my coat very often here in Texas. And I pretty much kick my shoes off the minute I get to someone’s home so . . . when you’re with me, I’d like you to take your shoes off, OK?

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2012 by in Don't Make Me Beg, Say What?, Spelling.

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