I had a thought that tickled me on awakening this morning. It was about certainty, about identity, about linguistics. You see, if you are from America, your identity is as an American. If you’re from Germany, you’re German. And those other bold Europeans, well they are French – from France. Strong, confident, certain, assertive National Identities.
I have some friends who fill me with uncertainty. My mind is awash with doubt when they say, ‘I’ll be with you at 11-ish.’ I know this may well mean nearer noon! (It’s rarely earlier than 11, if you know what I mean?) ‘…ish’ weakens our expectations of excellence and reliability.
So what was the thought that tickled me? I was about my sense of identity – my National Identity. You see my family was thought to come from Scotland, eh, Scott…ish. Digging deeper, we discovered that we are more from Ireland, or Ir…ish, though most of us have lived in England for generations, so technically we’re now Engl…ish. Perhaps it would be just safer to say we’re Brit…ish? Perhaps that’s why many of the Welsh are pro-devolution, but ‘shhh’ don’t tell anyone! Could it be that dropping the ‘i’ (Welish?) has given them, linguistically, a stronger National Identity?
Our beliefs are revealed in our behaviours. Having a strong sense of identity – the strongest form of belief – shows itself in assertive behaviours. Perhaps the ‘ish’ is one reason why we English are traditionally so polite, even non-assertive… Could it be we’re just not sure of ourselves? (And before I get lots of supportive posts, I am playing with the thought!!!)
So, since the thought tickled me, I guess I must be, probably, no – definitely, tickle…ish!