Why the English Language is a Writer’s Nightmare

15 Oct 2019


I have always felt sorry for people who have to learn the English language. For writers in particular, English can be a complete nightmare.

Some may say that it can be understood “through tough thorough thought, though,” but let’s face it — English has some really crazy aspects that simply do not make any sense.

Take the word queue, for example. Why do we need five whole letters, when only the first letter is actually pronounced? Are four silent letters really necessary?

How about the word bomb? Why don’t we pronounce it “boom,” since womb is pronounced as “woom” and tomb is pronounced “toom?”

And don’t even get me started on the words ending in -ough… cough, bough, rough, dough, through, though… why do they not all rhyme?!?

I am not the only one confused by the English language, though. In fact, this hilarious article from Bored Panda proves that English really makes no logical sense.

And if you are still in doubt, check out this great poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité:

The Chaos

Dearest creature in Creation,
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and dietlord and word.
Sword and swardretain and Britain
(Mind the latter, how it’s written!)
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say-said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via;
Pipe, snipe, recipe
 and choir,
Cloven, oven; how and low;
Script, receipt; shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid; measles, topsails, aisles;
Exiles, similes, reviles;
Wholly, holly; signal, signing;
Thames; examining, combining;
Scholar, vicar,
 and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far

(You can see out the whole poem here on thoughtco.com)

Watercooler Writer 

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