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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Gerber or Jerber?
By Michelle Burkhardt


The English language is one of the most difficult languages to learn, especially, since Americans can’t even agree on how to talk. There are more exceptions to the rules than rules! Being from New England and now living in the state, “America Starts Here”, Pennsylvania, I am sometimes teased due to my accent. Even though I have lived in PA for many years, every once and awhile I slip and pronounce car, “Caaa.” The “r” is optional in New England, especially if you are from the Boston area. My in-laws have a humorous time sharing some of my pronunciation mistakes with anyone who will listen. Here are some of my most interesting variations: steer vs. stir; I often steer my coffee. Or ruff vs. roof; my neighbors think my house barks. Which leads me to the subject at hand, is it Gerber Daisy or Jerber Daisy?

A Gerber Daisy is one of my favorite types of flowers because it comes in many different colors that last all summer long with new buds continually blooming. My favorite shade this year is Earthenware, a vibrant orange shade that when the sunlight glistens down on it, it radiates power and beauty all at once. Smelling, gazing upon and even spelling the word Gerber Daisy is not where I struggle. My difficulty comes from trying to share, with others, the name of this exceptional flower. A mental block has been permanently drilled and planted into my brain so that I can never remember if it’s a soft “g” or a hard “g.”

Stepping back in time we find a story in the Bible that helps to explain the cause of the numerous languages in this world. Genesis 11:1-9, is where you will find the well known story, “The Tower of Babel.” Prior to this, the whole world had one language and everyone spoke in harmony and I’m sure with the same accent too. However, because history demonstrates that when a culture unites, the power can be misused, hence, the people thought they could build a tower to reach the heavens. Sinful greed breeds evil in the hearts of mankind and the Lord knowing their purpose decided to confuse their language. The people were scattered across the Earth and the Tower was never finished. Centuries and many moons later, we currently have more languages than one can count. Plus, each language has different dialects and each region has different accents.

Building a tower to reach God is not my desire but being able to enunciate correctly is. Since I can not seem to remember to use a hard “g” when pronouncing Gerber, here is my solution. Everyone else needs to change. Maybe I can convince James Dobson of Focus on the Family to make the following announcement on his radio station broadcast, “Effective immediately! All Christians are to start calling the incredible flower once known as Gerber Daisy, “Jerber” Daisy because a “J” has only one sound…and that sound is the same as in “Jesus”

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This article has been read 1235 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Daniele Moskal10/10/05
**WOW** What an awesome challenge article!! This is fantastic, it really is. I know just where the author is coming from; Italians somtimes have accent problems!!! A very clever, inspirational, funny and well-written article that is most definitely a winner - most definitely!!! Well done to the author and winner . God bless ya! Love from JOHN3-34 Evangelist.
Garnet Miller 10/11/05
Nice. I like the way you tied your "problems with pronunciation" to a biblical story that some may not know. Good twist on the topic!
Jan Ackerson 10/12/05
Very clever and unique! There are a few minor edits needed for awkward sentences, but all in all, this gentle, witty entry is very sweet.
Tammy Johnson10/12/05
Fun read! Nice transition of ideas and witty humour. Nicely done, thanks.
Melanie Kerr 10/13/05
I liked the humourous tone and the lead in to the Bible story. I have never heard of either Gerber or Jerber daisies so I wouldn't give anyone a hard time about it.