Ask Jamey

A kind reader did my work for me by e-mailing me this hilarious letter.

Dear Jamey,

So I’ve got this beef with the English language.  Often when writing by hand (and sometimes when typing) I tend to combine the words “with” and “the” when they are written back-to-back into a new word “withe” and I actually think its a better way.  If we want to say “with the” why can’t we just say “withe” and save the extra three characters?   I mean, the Spanish do it all the time, think “de” and “el” become “del,” as in “Del Boca Vista.”  When we speak the words we meld them together, ala “I’m withe band.”  It sounds like one word to me.

Of course, this could also be used with other words.  “With” and “that” could be “withat,” as in “you’re withat asshole?” (as said to a girl you’ve been flirting with for the last 20 minutes upon being confronted by her heretofore out of sight biker boyfriend).  I’m not sure what part of speech this would be.  It’s like a contraction without the apostrophe or a compound word that’s not fully compounded.  So you’re a writer, what do you think?   And since you write so much, what are things you would change about the Queen’s tongue if you could?


Hey Webster, put that in your book!

Dear Hey Webster,

Thanks for your e-mail. I’ve never really thought about this before, but I think you have a great point. They combine a ton of words in Japan. “Convenience store” is “conbini.” McDonald’s is “Makudo.” American football is “Ame futo.” I think you’re looking at a more standardized, widely accepted combination of words, like text language. I’m not sure I really want to condone that, but I’m also not against it.

Thanks for your thoughts!


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