The English language has more than 200,000 words in common usage. Sure, there are some in common usage we may like to edit and consign them to the not-so-commonly used words. Whatever. Add in scientific terms, technology idioms (trending, tweeting, facebook) and our multiculturally influenced language has more than one million words. It's a flexible language - we keep adding more words, and don't really care where they originate.
We have a richness of vocabulary - more so than any other language. Italians, for example, have no equivalent of "wishful thinking." Pity. Russian has no term like "have fun." But you get the idea. English is a global language, and totally open to adding new words.
English is used in Ireland. Although its official language, Gaelic, is used by less than one per cent of the population, we can be grateful Ireland's literary masters spoke - and wrote - in English. Think of James Joyce, Shaw, Yeats, Swift and Wilde. No other country, it is said, has given the world more great literature, per head, than Ireland.
So isn't it just fittin' an' all that White Rock is in the middle of a month-long Irish Festival. There's more to the festival than just St. Patrick's Day and the wearin' of the green. Here's just a few events coming up next week:
On Tuesday, March 19, from 7 p.m., join White Rock Travel at Salinte By the Pier Gastrobar to discover and explore travel in Ireland. Or for something more literary, a monthly Irish Poetry Night is held on Wednesday, March 20 at the same location. This month's event features a reading of Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney.
Poetry readings at a bar. Well, it could be common in Ireland. I have heard the Irish are good storytellers. Might like to travel there someday.
For a complete list of events and festivities, visit inwhiterock.com. And while you are at the computer, why not whip up a limerick for the Irish Festival's Limerick Contest (deadline for entries is Friday, March 22).
Submissions will be judged on wit, humour and originality, with bonus points for including White Rock and St. Patrick's Day. Winners will be announced on March 28. Mail your submissions to Limerick Contest, c/o the Now, #201-7889 132nd St., Surrey, V3W 4N2, or drop it off at Slainte by the Pier, White Rock Museum, Tapestry Music or White Rock Library. Be sure to include your name, contact number and age group (child 12 and under, youth 13 to 18 or adult 19 plus).
Here is a sample Limerick the contest organizers wrote - let this be your guide:
OK, so limericks are not exactly great literature. Just be glad that English gives you a wealth of words to work with. May the luck of the Irish be with you.
Surrey Christmas Bureau is using St. Patrick's Day - and things Irish - as a theme for a fundraiser. The Shamrocks & Holly event combines St. Pat with Santa for a pub lunch with Irish entertainment, starting at 11: 30 a.m. on Saturday, March 16 at Kennedy's Sports Pub, 11906 88th Ave., North Delta. I went to this event last year and absolutely enjoyed it immensely.
Entertaining us this year will be Copper Sky trio, led by Paul Evenden, and Irish dance performers from the Steel School of Irish Dance studio. There will be lots of items available for silent auction (l loooove this part), raffles and door prizes, lunch of burger and fries or chicken strips and fries - all for only $15. Last year the place was packed, so I suggest you phone ahead for tickets: 604-581-9623. And wear green. You don't have to be Irish to celebrate the Irish contribution to arts and literature. Just have fun and be happy you don't have to translate that thought into Russian.
A mischevious artist named Colleen Loved to paint when she saw any great scene One on St. Paddy's Day She went to our Bay
And our 'White Rock' is now painted green.