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Now, allow me to explain the title “and sometimes y.” Most of human beings take comfort in categorizing any topic; it’s reassuring to know where things fit. “A place for everything and everything in its place” – that saying has been around long before we had professional organizers. In fact, The Oxford Book of Quotations says the expression is from the 1600′s! Why this predisposition for classifying and systematizing? We feel our world is more within our control when we can sort out and put items in order. We like rules.
As a language professional, you no doubt delight in the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies language presents. It’s a big part of what brings extra challenge and intrigue to your work.
You’re confident in your language skills and look forward to the oddities and peculiarities to tackle. But if you’re not in a language services field, chances are good that you’re not too fond of language curiosities. You favor rules. You remember them from grade school and cling to their simplicity. You believe these simple rules hold together your universe. You see no reason to question what you consider constitutes the basic building blocks of language. What’s a vowel? “A, e, i, o, u” and that pesky but ever-present “and sometimes y.” A number of folks would be hard-pressed to give an example of that “and sometimes y” part of the rule. After all, it’s a “sometimes” thing. How illogical and messy! Yet there it is, written in the rule, so it must be correct.
You’re invited to keep in mind the uneasiness about “nonconformist language” many of your clients try hard to avoid. Because your attitude about your language services can be very powerful in your marketing communications. This importance of attitude cuts across all fields and industries and professions. No matter what our area of expertise, we tend to inch further and further away from acknowledging that our buyers often know very little about what they’re buying from us. We get too caught up in our day-to-day work and our daily living to remember to explain our value. Then we hurt our perceived value (and perception is reality, of course).
“and sometimes y” serves as your resource for communicating your services and your value in ways your clients will truly understand.