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English Language is DUMB

Just hit on a neat video created by the 103-year-old Ed Rondthaler. According to him, English spelling is dumb! He’s one of a number of people who advocate reform for English spelling, and looking at this video he’s produced it’s hard to disagree:

Additionally here is a sample of Richard Lederer’s famous article „English is a Crazy Language“. The full version is available on his site.

English is a Crazy Language

Let’s face it — English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese… One blouse, 2 blice?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a „slim chance“ and a „fat chance“ be the same, while a „wise man“ and „wise guy“ are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while „quite a lot“ and „quite a few“ are alike? How can the weather be „hot as hell“ one day and „cold as hell“ another?

Here is a good resource for learning English on your own. Usingenglish.com is a website which provides a variety of tools to learn English in a funny and self motivated manner throughout tests, quizzes, interesting articles, glossary of irregular verbs and more.

One Response to “English Language is DUMB”

  1. Sean Blanton on Februar, 20 2009 at 12:08

    Yes, English is a mish-mash of many languages…I know when I type fast, I type phonetically and my spelling is all wrong. I have to go back and check because a different part of my brain has consciously learned all the exceptions and special cases.

    I have studied 10 languages and am learning Turkish, which is almost phonetically exact (looks like it sounds) and it is refreshing. Although my Turkish is not good enough yet, I’m betting if I type fast in Turkish, I wouldn’t make the same mistakes as I do in English, my native tongue.


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