The English language with all its rules, countless exceptions to the rules and endless inconsistencies… it’s enough to drive you to French! (The language or the kissing… entirely up to you!) It truly is an irksome language and these are 8 reasons the English language is crazy:
1. Weird Plurals
The plural of sheep is sheep, but the plural of beep is beeps! House is houses, but mouse is mice; unless of course you’re referring to more than one computer mouse, then they are mouses too – at least according to some.
And don’t get me started on octopi! If you’re a crazy cat lady and have more than one puss, do you also have pi?
2. I Before E
Except after C, or in words like weird, caffeine, weight, feign, foreign…. C’mon!!!!
So you need an apostrophe to indicate that it’s the girl’s dress or the girls’ changing room, but hers, his, ours, its or theirs are exempt. At least we call all agree that apostrophes should never be used to indicate a plural. NEVER!
4. Inconsistent Pronunciation
Repeat after me.. ball, hall, tall, call, fall, stall, wall… so why don’t we say ball-erina? And mall should only ever be pronounced “mal” (or even “mel”) when referring to “Pall Mall”. It’s true! (At least according to my Penguin reference book… and that’s good enough for me.)
And how about cough (coff), rough (ruff), though (tho), bough (bow)… in fact, bow and bow; how can I even distinguish between the dinky bit of fabric tied around the neck and the action taken when meeting the Queen without the use of context – or those funky little dictionary symbols (and really, who knows what the hell they mean anyway)?
5. The Letters G and H
Why is it a hard G for girl, gimp or gill, but a soft G for giraffe, gist and giant? At least C is a little more consistent when it changes between a hard and soft sound before E, I and Y… except for the “ch” sound for cello, which is something else again.
And why do we drop the H on hour and say our, but not on house or hound? (Unless of course you’re a Cockney.)
OK, you might be wondering what these have to do with English, but why is it twenty-one, twenty-two, thirty-one, thirty-two, forty-one, forty-two, etc., but not oneteen, twoteen, threeteen?
And what’s the deal with four and forty? What happened to the U?
7. Mean Words
Who put the S in “lisp” and made stutter more than one syllable?
8. Silent Letters
Do we really need to bother with the K in knife, the G in sign, the B in numb, or the W in write? Not to mention the N in autumn, the T in castle and the U in biscuit.
It’s no wonder so many people struggle to learn the English language – as a native language – let alone those poor buggers who are learning it as a second language.
Are there any other crazy English language anomalies you care to add?