Inconsistent English

October 15, 2010
By Thomas Hoctor BRONZE, Wakefield, Massachusetts
Thomas Hoctor BRONZE, Wakefield, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The English language is a screwed up one. Never has there been a language more clustered with inconsistencies than English. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I’m speaking and writing in English rather than some other language like German or Swahili, but why is it that a language so flawed is one of the most widely spoken one’s in the world? Natively spoken, English is placed below both Mandarin (Chinese) and Spanish. There is no surprise that the former has English beat in terms of native popularity, look how big Asia’s population is! Not only that, but how much more entertaining is it to draw pictures (?) than write words?

The foundation of any language starts with its alphabet. What kind of language designates five vowels to their alphabet and then adds: “and sometimes ‘y’”? Is it even necessary to include the ‘and sometimes’? It would be a hell of a lot simpler if it was just a, e, i, o, u and y. But no, it’s only sometimes y. Why you ask? That’s just y it is. And speaking of the notorious consonant and/or vowel “y”, why is it that this letter can have so many different pronunciations? In the cases that it’s used as a vowel, it can sound just like a hard “e”, a hard “i”, and a soft “i”. When it is used as a consonant it takes its regular “y” sound (as in yellow) So if a “y” is just used as a vowel to imitate three other vowel sounds that we already have in our alphabet, then y the hell is it sometimes a vowel?

Not only are there specific letters in the English language that don’t make any real sense, there are also letter-combination devices that we are taught, which also make no sense. Why is that we are taught since elementary school to follow the rule “i before e, except after c”? The rule is not right all the time, which isn’t really a sufficeint way to teach children. What I find wierd is that someone would create a mnemonic device so flawed to be taught in our soceity. You’ll surely need some codiene after trying to sieze the reasoning behind this one. I’d love to give the originator of this device a piece of my mind.

Along with the aforementioned flaws within our language, there are also some words that either make no sense, or are just illogical. How come there is a word in our language to be used for “like a hedgehog” – erinaceous? Out of all the fears and phobias, why is there one for “the fear of running out of material to read” – abibliophobia? Certainly it would take someone nearly a lifetime to even put a dent in the entire English reading catalogue. Is it normal that a word describing “any text containing jargon or especially convoluted English” is gobbledygook? Is there a need for a word in our language to mean “to kiss and hug”, that the verb form of the word is canoodling? And why is it that when we need to relieve ourselves of bodily wastes we use a restroom... and never even sleep a wink?

As flawed as it is, the English language itself is not the only thing that is screwed up; it’s the people using it that usually blunder it up. How often have you heard someone say they could care less about a particular idea, incident or event? The appropriate way to say it would be I couldn’t care less. If they could care less, it must not be that meaningless. Similarly, when you see caution signs that say “Watch your head”, what does it really mean? Trying to watch your head is like trying to smell your nose.

The English language is a melting pot. It’s compromised of all different types of language origins across the globe. The reason it’s so inconsistent is because it was not supposed to make sense. How can a language that is made up of so many different ones, make logical sense? It can’t, that’s why English is so mismanaged. Go on using English as you have before, but maybe a bit more wisely. Say what you mean; mean what you say and if you don’t know what you mean to say then you better find out how to say what you mean. In this crazy language of ours all you have is your word and Microsoft Word, so you better learn all the loopy jargon within our language so you don’t sound like an ignoramus.

The author's comments:
I wanted to write about a humorous topic that we use everyday. My English class is based on the language so I figured I'd poke some fun at the language and hopefully make some good points in the process.

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