Which Which? · 9 December 2017

Publicity photo of American actress, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 MGM feature film The Wizard of Oz
This work is in the public domain.

Which witch is which witch?

I always liked that little tongue (or brain) twister. Mainly because you need to enunciate. You need to say each word cor-rect-ly. The “wh” sound is not like the “w” sound. “Which witch is which witch?”

Besides being a tongue twister though, it is also a brain twister. (I can just imagine people’s brains reaching out for different colors on a plastic sheet with colored dots.) After all, there seems to be confusion about which witch to use. In both speaking and writing. Part of it is because people do not always enunciate. WHICH becomes WITCH when people talk. And WITCH sometimes becomes WHICH. “Which witch is which witch?” might become “Witch which is witch which?” or even “Which which is witch witch?” or even “Which which is which which?” or even… Well, you get the picture.

I did not start on this thought because I wanted to pick on people’s pronunciation and enunciation. If I had, I could have thought of lots of different words for a rant like that. Neither was I thinking that homonyms and homophones were a great topic of discussion either. Texting and messaging and social media have ensured that we do not need to have correct spelling anymore. You might even be able to get away with spelling every word incorrectly in a blog post without people noticing. (Might need to try that sometime. Although I would have a hard time since I cannot even use “u” for “you” when texting.) At any rate, I was not going to tilt at usage windmills either. There are grammarians out there to do that sort of ranting and railing.

No. What I was really planning on commenting about was just how much I use which when I write. And how often I use it at the beginning of sentences. Which is not correct grammar by the way. Nor is it very stylish (I need a better word here, but which shall I use?). But I like it. Which ought to be obvious when you read my writing.

Thankfully, I have not used the wrong witch in my writing. Yet. After all, that would be quite embarrassing. Which witch indeed?

Well, that is about all the time I have for writing drivel today. Which I am sure is a relief. Witch or not.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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