Monday, June 13, 2011

Twice Remembered

As this is the anniversary week, I'm going to post some of the early pieces some of you may have missed.  This was one of the first posts published just one year ago on June 11th 2010.

I'm afraid that we have to say goodbye to an old friend. His demise has been a long time coming and as with all old timers, it's a sad business all around. I refer of course to the death of the word "TWICE."

Many years ago I was in a third word country and my companion had to speak to someone whose command of English was obviously very limited. In order to make himself understood he reverted to pigeon English. "We come here two times," he said. I smiled at the use of baby English, which is of course, exactly what pigeon English is.

Over the last twenty years, I have heard "twice" used less and less by all and everyone. The other day I noticed in an advert for some soap powder the presenter said that washing the garment two times was now no longer needed. It still sounds very odd to my traditional ears.

But it's not the first time it's happened. English is a changing language after all. When I was a boy, my grandparents and their generation often used the word "thrice" for three times. I don't think I ever used the word myself as by then it had become very outdated. So along with Thee, Thine and Ye, we say goodbye to twice and try to accept two times. It won't be easy.

Do you still use twice? Or have you already been corrupted?

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