Before I start, I would just like to say that I’m spending a few days in Scotland, Edinburgh, meaning I came through on the train in the fog and mist, to see everything was white from my window. Winter is officially here. I’m in Edinburgh with my family and a translator, just so I can understand the strong accent over this side of the pond from my usual home in Cumbria. Anyhow, on with the writing!
I will be honest before I’m arrested for plagiarism, a lot of the following came from a sketch of my favourite comedian; Michael McIntyre… But I thought that what he talked about was pretty funny, and he also had a point… So just read on.
Before I completely rip off the work of one of Britains best-loved comedians, I would just like to expand on the point that he makes. Being a writer, journalist, blogger and English Language student, obviously this is a very interesting subject for me to talk about, and one that I feel I could probably write a book on, however, I have to condense my ideas into 600 plus words, so I’ll give it a try and try not to get bored while I explain it.
I’m about to talk to you about a thing called collocations, now to you, this may mean absolutely nothing at all, in which case I really do advise you to read on- Because you never know, you may just learn something…
Collocations are words that naturally go together in a sentence, if you were to have one without the other you would find that it wouldn’t sound right, and you may have people questioning you on basic English skills.
An example of the stuff I’m going on about are things such as, fish and chips, thunder and lightning, knife and fork or salt and pepper; use of lexis that wouldn’t sound right should you put them on their own, or even mix them up. If you were to have chips and knife people would think that you’re an utter moron, likewise, if you were to have pepper and lightning, people think that you are describing the new range from the ‘Ann Summers’ collection.
You may not realise this, but I guarantee you that you use complicated and complex examples of the English Language every day, hyperbole, superlatives, interrogatives, declaratives, imperatives, monosyllabic lexis, the list goes on and on and on. However, I feel so confident to actually put £10 on the fact that most people use examples of collocations in a sentence more than five times a day, every day. They crop up so much that people don’t even realise. The list I made earlier with examples of them was only a fraction of the different possibilities, I think that it’s absolutely incredible. The English Language is so diverse and so flexible, it is only until recently I discovered that no wonder is one of the hardest languages for babies to learn, it is unbelievably complex, it boggles the mind and hurts my head just thinking about it all.
Michael McIntyre took the general idea of collocations and moulded it into an entire four to five-minute sketch on one of his shows, and it is one of the funniest comedy sketches I have ever seen. Ever. What he basically did was more or less what I have just done above, but with much funnier, immature words. Words that come with other words as he called it, so my blog for example; ‘Tom’s Chit Chat’, the words ‘chit chat’ fit together very well, however one only works on its own, which is ‘chat’, and to say, “can we have a chat” does sound very formal in some cases, but you would never say to somebody “would you mind if we had a quick chit”, firstly because if you were to say that to somebody, not write it, say it, I think it sounds like something completely different and quite rude, but anyways, secondly because it almost doesn’t sound correct from a grammatical perspective. However, when you put the two words together to form a whole word; “chit chat”, it becomes an example of what we call phatic talk, or in other words, chatty and informal language, so if your boss says to you someday “can we have a quick chit chat”, I wouldn’t worry about getting the sack, in fact, it’s probably more likely they fancy you.
There are other uses of collocations, that are funny and that Michael talks about in this sketch, and they are listed below, words put together such as:
Nitty gritty, like can you get to the nitty, but not the gritty? Or visa versa.
and hodge podge.
The best of all though has to be hanky panky because, at some point, all men wish for hanky panky mostly on a daily basis, however sometimes they must “make do” with hanky. On some occasions, men may return home from work, and it could look like panky could also be on the cards, however to the woman’s disappointment, it would be unlikely to happen due to hanky going happening early doors, so they must move down a step and just do rumpy pumpy. The sketch goes on, but I just thought to myself, god, it’s such a clever way of looking at and poking fun at the English Langauge, and by adding my own bits to it, along with the plagiarism of the work of a famous comedian from the video which has had millions of views on YouTube, it would make such a brilliant and funny piece of writing.
I thought just the other day, that the blog has looked at such negative and important topics from the news recently, I haven’t actually had the chance for someone to read it and go “what a great piece of intelligent and funny writing”, so I knew I couldn’t do that on my own, so instead I completely ripped off the words and work of a touring comedy legend and tried to pass it as my own. Overall, I thought it went quite well, considering I’m on holiday in Scotland. Freezing.
That’s me for this week, thank you very much for reading, take care, see you soon,
Apologies for featuring lots of listing this week, for the jokes to be funny, I sort of had to use it, although I hate the technique and the people that use it in their writing, I promise to never do it again.