Thursday, May 26, 2011

The English Language

I think the English language is really great because it doesn't differentiate between things unnecessarily. It doesn't assign a grammatical gender to objects that have no biological gender. It doesn't create awkward situations by forcing you to decide whether your relationship with someone is formal or informal before you even say "nice to meet you." I mean sheesh, life is awkward enough without shit like that.


  1. Ahhh, but one person's dinner is another's tea, whilst anothers tea is what someone would refer to as going for a coffee.

    We have crazy turns of phrase, and people always ask me "would you like to..." before asking me to complete a task that nobody in their right mind would like to do, as opposed to anybody in their left mind.

    You wouldn't say that mint rhymes with pint, or through with bough. Though you wouldn't say tow rhymes with cow, though cow rhymes with thou.

    English is a mish-mash-hodge-podge of a language. We don't have the formality or gender issues of other languages, but we have plenty of other ways to embarrass oursleves in front of strangers :D

    (P.S. I'm back :D)

  2. Yes, but we have words like mish-mash-hodge-podge, gobbledygook, bamboozled, lickety-split and flabbergasted; which pretty much makes up for any shortcomings of the language.

  3. There's nothing like learning a foreign language to make you realise how much you enjoy the English language! However I have to agree with Lip, who has it spot on - I wouldn't want to explain to a non-English speaker why it makes perfect sense that mint and pint don't rhyme.

  4. Wow, most of you are taking me awfully seriously.

    @Harry: Actually, only the Brits have any of those words. :)

  5. I guess a lot of those language things are standard and become second nature (or at least easily absorbable to those who are so inclined). I'm imagining a job interview scenario. Can you picture the hub-bub (also a good English phrase by the way, not sure if I spelled it right though) that would have surrounded the intricacies of grammatical formalities and gender-izing if our OCIs (intense job interview sessions) had included us as second-langauage interviewees attempting to speak to interviewers? I think one possibility. Oblivion via being totally clueless (and a laughing stock) or oblivion as in wanting to crawl away and hide. Also paranoia. Good thing you're not interviewing for jobs!

  6. Too many ways to say "to be." I am, you are, he is, he was, they were, he will be, and on and on. So complicated. Thankfully, hip hop artists have fixed this.

    Pre-hip hop English:

    I am thirsty.
    He is thirsty.
    They are thirsty.

    Post-hip hop English:

    I be thirsty.
    He be thirtsy.
    They be thirsty.

    Much better!

  7. Hmmm, going through the OCIs as a second language speaker?...I wonder how that would feel...

  8. Atbin if you are indeed an English second language speaker, consider yourself excluded from my comment because your grasp of English is too great to hold up to fulfilment of my scenario. I was picturing I or Jennie (or anyone who like me, but maybe not Jennie, who is second-language challenged) struggling through a German interview :) I think I would have skipped the whole process (yes, I'm not particularly brave)!

  9. Steve is racist, in an ignorant rather than malevolent manner.

    In AAVE (African-American Vernacular English), if I'm talking about Bob and I say "he sick", I mean that he's currently in bed with the flu; if, on the other hand, I say "he be sick", I mean that he has a terrible case of the cancers or somesuch.