Thursday, May 03, 2012

Rainy Day Beauty and a Vocabulary Lesson


We woke up to hear rain dripping into the eaves during the night. The rain continues. Cold. Heavy skies. Today I invigilated a simulation of an AP Calculus exam. Mind-numbing. The script is strict to ensure fairness throughout the world. The invigilator may not read, mark papers, or do anything unrelated to the exam. I thought a lot. Time moved very slowly. Three actual exams to invigilate in the next couple of weeks. I'll be thinking a lot. Maybe about blog posts.

But when I arrived home, this beautiful rhododendron in my yard, to which I've never paid much attention, seemed to say, "Here, look at me, I'm so pretty." And so I did. Then I went inside to get my camera. 
 

The raindrops only served to enhance the pink delicacy of these blooms. And why have I never noticed the dark speckles on the upper petals? Or the long stamens seemingly tipped with gold?  How much do I miss everyday because I don't take the time to look? What new thing have you noticed recently?

Moving on to vocabulary. Invigilate seems to be used in Canada where USA uses the word proctor. One proctors an exam in Washington, one invigilates an exam in British Columbia. However, in British (I think) and Canadian usage, the word proctor is strictly a noun, not a verb. Thus, a proctor may invigilate an exam, but an invigilator may not proctor an exam. 

As my linguistics major daughter tells me, language is a fluid thing. It certainly changes from country to country. When I lived in Ecuador and taught at an American school, I once used the word invigilate and the principal thought it sounded like something out of the wild west, a term that evoked coming out with guns blazing. 

So I'm a bit of a language nerd. If you've read the whole thing, you probably are, too.

24 comments:

ellen b. said...

A very gorgeous rhoddy for sure!

ellen b. said...

Oh I forgot to mention that I've never used the word invigilate...

podso said...

Oh yes I read hoping I'd get that word I've never heard before, defined. and sure enough.

Here in America we have a habit of making nouns into verbs, more so now than ever. it actually can be a bit annoying to a language purist. But the rules seem to be broken more and more and no one seems to care. After all the younger generation just texts or tweets soundbites anyway! Fun post and you will get a lot of thinking/praying done .... your rhod. is gorgeous, what a lovely shade of pink!

Vee said...

Perhaps. =D I've never heard the word, but figured out what you were doing immediately. If I were a proctor, I'd spend my time being grateful that I was not taking the calculus exam. You are noticing many new things. Today I noticed how very different color appears depending upon the light. I've always known it, but today I really pondered it.

The Wooden Spool said...

OH how GORGEOUS! Love your PINK blossoms!

Pondside said...

I'm guilty of reading the entire post - and caring about the words.....but that's my particular trait (and one of which my family despairs!).

PrairieJill said...

Yep, I'm a language nerd! The differences between American and Canadian English are fascinating, aren't they?
And I love your photos, too!

Carole said...

yes I am ! My husband is amazed at my propensity to seize the dictionary to check a word, even at 11pm.
You are very lucky to have such a pretty rhododendron in your yard, we don't have a suitable soil for them so must admire them in magazines or on blogs...

Gabriela Delworth said...

HPS!


Love these azaleas! Beautiful pink!


Gabriela

SwedishCorner-DownUnder...Pernilla said...

Happy Pink Saturday!
Greetings from Australia♥
~Pernilla

Mary said...

Having been schooled in post-war England, language seemed to be a huge part of our education and I recall spending hours on English homework, both lang. and lit., preferring the latter. We also took elocution classes and were forced to be competitive, entering contests etc.

Of course I now have a weird accent (British, New England, Southern) and my use of language has been shot by adding American colloquialisms.....afraid there's no hope for me now! BUT, when you're heading full gallop toward 70 all that matters is that one can speak, read, and know how to get on a plane to see the world. Right????? LOL!!!

Love the rhodies - I have similar pink ones bit they're a bit puny this year - my darker pink in the back garden are gorgeous though - more shade there.

Happy weekend, Mary

Ms. Burrito said...

Sooo pretty! Happy Pink Saturday!

My Pink, I am also inviting you to link up with my color Connection meme.

Cheryl said...

Yes, I did read the whole thing. ~smile~ I am fascinated with words and language and etymology.

It is obvious to me that you love words. In my peeks around your blog, I have admired your lovely ways of putting them together in beautiful expression.

Have a lovely weekend...

Lorraine said...

Beautiful rhododendrons! I did read your whole post and found it very invigilating!! LOL, I couldn't resist!! Happy Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

rosa said...

had to check a dictionary to get the right meaning.... I've met invigilate/proctor for the first time, here, in your blog.
I too love words, languages, etymology.... and I just love your flowers!

Carol said...

Your photos are stunning!

chubskulit said...

Absolutely gorgeous!

My Pink, have a great weekend!

Magnolia Cottage said...

Gorgeous! I'm still waiting for mine to bloom. Happy Pink Saturday!
Lisa

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I love all the touches of pink!

Happy pink Saturday, Happy Derby Day and ¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

ann said...

I had to look up the word. I am an English professor. And yes, we proctor. The rhododendron is really quite beautiful and so are your pictures.

The Tablescaper said...

So beautiful. It would be great to have you join Seasonal Sundays. I have a $100.00 HomeGoods/TJMaxx gift certificate going on that you might want to participate in.

- The Tablescaper

Jojo said...

Love the new word. Having an instant dictionary is one of the things I love about reading books electronically. Hope the sun joins you soon.

Amber said...

Beautiful flowers! :)
Amber

materfamilias said...

Ha! Guilty as charged. Even on holiday here in bordeaux, I read through carefully, thinking about the difference between these two, whether I've ever used "proctor" as a verb (I think I might have, or heard it used that way, when I TA'd at UBC, but generally we do use "invigilate" here as well. Interesting post (your gorgeous table runner deserves its own comment, really, but I'm trying to ration holiday blogging time)