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English Is A Difficult Language

Words do mean things. And the English language is difficult to master.

Let’s start with a few conundrums. (That’s a confusing or difficult problem. It might also be a question asked for amusement.) Who would do that? Me? (Actually, these were shared with me by a friend.)

· If I talk about a foot; but you show me two feet, or maybe give you a book, would 2 books be a beek?

· The plural of box is boxes. Is the plural of ox, oxes? No, it's oxen.

· Heaven forbid you come home to find a mouse in your house. More than one mouse would be mice, but the plural of house houses, not hice. Go figure.

· And for the outdoors persons among you, the words goose and moose: the plural of goose is geese, but the plural of moose is never meese.

· And, we have a brother and also brethren. And yes, we have a mother; but we never refer to her as a methren.

I hope the amusement factor isn’t lost on you. Most of you are smiling ever so slightly about the humor component of how difficult the English language is and continues to be.

Now let me switch gears and talk about two sets of words that are often referred to as synonyms, but aren’t necessarily. (Did I put you on guard?)

Empathy and Sympathy: In short explanation, Empathy suggests “understanding” and Sympathy offers not only Understanding; but leans toward “Agreement”. As a Supervisor, recognizing the difference, and being able to communicate and implement the difference in doing your job is critical.

And, what about Tolerance and Acceptance? Tolerance is empathy or indulgence of practices and behaviors differing from or conflicting with yours. Tolerance includes a suggestion of time sensitivity.. for how long? Acceptance is the quality or state of being acceptable/allowed…with an insinuated “long or no end date in mind”.

As a Supervisor or Manager, what do you Tolerate and what do you Accept?



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