ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sometimes Just One Word Changes Everything

Updated on November 25, 2010

Every Word Counts

The English language is different from all other languages in that it first describes what it is and then tells you what we are talking about. All other languages tells you what we are talking about before describing it. This is easily demonstrated in the Spanish vs. English for the white house, and in Spanish it is the house white, la casa blanca.

The English language also gives us many many examples of words that can be used in different parts of speech, for example and the easiest example is everyone's favorite cuss word, the f word. Without using it and to not offend anyone, I will give very brief examples of this, which would be -- that f--ing dog, that dog is f--ing, or just what a f--er.

I actually got a legal case dismissed because it was determined that a curse is not technically considered to be a threat. The words I used were just like the old time curse that you read about in legends, like "may your dog never be rid of his fleas," and " may all your camels be forever sterile".

In these instances because of the use of one word, "may" it was decided that no direct threat was made, and that if anything happened, it was indeed only because the receiver of the "curse" made it happen themselves, or it only happened in their own mind. It took several minutes of discussion to come up with this decision, which was appearant to me right off the bat, and kind of made me laugh.

There are also some very confusing usages of words, that were pointed out to me by my students when I was teaching adult Spanish speaking people to read in their own language. For example the word "hot" in English is interpreted about five different ways in the Spanish language, which confused a lot of people, for how could they know what was meant, except by the surrounding words. We have a hot day, talking about weather, a hot bowl of soup, meaning the temperature of an object, a hot chili pepper, meaning a spicy hot, and a hot woman, meaning that she is good looking. In Spanish these all are different words, thereby telling the reader immediately what the meaning is. This is why English is one of the most difficult languages to learn.

Besides the words that sound the same but mean different things, there are the words that are spelled the same but are pronounced differently, like though, cough, tough, brought, which all have the ough spelling but are pronounced very differently. The only other language that comes close in difficulty to English is Chinese, and that is only because of the differences between usage of an alphabet and symbols that have meanings with no phonetics involved.

One last example of why English is a language that does not abide by any normal language rules are the slang's that we have evolved into meanings that are not even understood by many of our own English speaking people. This shown by example can be the word "bad", which can mean bad, as in not good, but the young folks have turned it into the opposite, and with more than just this one word, as in that is a bad bike. In this instance the speaker means to portray that he likes the bike. Here are several words that have evolved into two and very opposite meanings by our youngsters--cool, bitchin, bad, awesome, and so on.

So, in ending this all I can advise is this, when you are putting something into writing, make sure that you have used the right words, make sure there are not double meanings, be sure that you have it in the right part of speech, and perhaps even go on to describe what you mean so nobody is confused. If you read that it is a bad ass hot chick, who is so cool many guys are hot after her, read it twice perhaps.


Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    warm whispers 

    8 years ago


  • tnderhrt23 profile image


    8 years ago

    Very interesting, thought-provoking, informative hub! I love language and words, for their weight and power are great keys to the human heart. Thank you!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)