Today’s Rant about the English Language:

“I would like English a lot better if it had rules!”

Ah, but you say, “IT DOES!!!!” That is the beauty of it all, and folks like me simply go around tearing at the fabric by ignoring or worse yet, not learning the “RULES.”

Do you realize that in most of the world, in most things, “Rules are Rules!”

In Spades, you cannot lead with Spades until a spade has been played. I know, if you dont play spades you neither understand nor care. In baseball, if you hit the ball in “fair territory” and run to first base before someone tags you out, you are safe, you can even overrun the base as long as you step on it and do not turn left, you are safe. this is true no matter how many people are on base, no matter who the pitcher is, no matter what inning you are in, or on which day of the week you are playing. you are safe, and conversely, if you are tagged before stepping on the base, you are “OUT!” no question. These are the rules. learn them once, and never think about it again. its like the pledge of allegiance, hand over heart, right hand over left chest region. never changes, unless you are a one armed person, you do not pledge with your left hand. simple.

now lets review the “rules” in English:

maybe the most famous is: “i” before “e”, except after “c,” except sometimes.

yep, especially the “sometimes” part. there are at least a dozen common English words without a “c” preceding the combo that break the rule, there are several words with “c” that break the rule. why not spell science sceince? is that any sillier than spelling “Stein”  (sounds like stine, in fact, why not use the name “Stine”?)?

my most hated combo is the “au” pairing, which is au or ua, and i can never remember why, especially as i have never heard the difference between language and gauge. and then there are words that end in “ent” or “ant” like equivalent, extravagant, and experiment. does anyone really pronounce the “ant” and “ent” differently here? and is there a rule, oh use the ant when the previous vowel is an”a” or when it is an “e”. and for gods sake, lets come up with consistent, consistant? rules.

and did you know if you put english on a ball, it can either be capitalized or not, but if its the country, it must always by capitalized? do you realize with the three letter word “its” and “it’s” means one word automatically violates a standard rule that freaks so many grammarians out anywhere else?

So lets start with dual vowels:

New rule, unless you can say the word so distinctly that you can actually HEAR the difference, twin vowels are to henceforth be written in alphabetical order, so “e” ALWAYS, like baseball, come after ‘a” and before “i” and the only time to use “ant” is when the proceeding syllable has an “e” spelling, so different would become differant and equivalent and experiment would stay the same, as restaurant, but language would become langauge yes, it is “lane gwij” and the new spelling is a bit more lane gauge, but that brings another point, why not spell words the way we say them? this isnt french where letters have secret handshakes and underground passages, this English, or what’s left of it after the English get through chewing it up! i mean is gwij any sillier than glish?

if we sat it iNG(ɡ)liSH, why not write it that way? and what the heck is the little ‘g’ doing there?



3 thoughts on “Today’s Rant about the English Language:”

  1. I like the last idea expressed, of spelling English words the way they sound. The first hurdle to overcome is all vowels have at least two sounds, commonly referred to as long and short. My solution is to double a vowel for the long sound and a single vowel for the short sound. Is there a group or organization for people who want English words spelled the way they sound?

    1. Thank you! probably, there have been small independent efforts to move us towards a phonetic spelling, but it has not succeeded, mostly because English is a language is fairly uncontrolled and non standard already, as there is no society for the language like there is in France. To change the way things are, one simply makes the case and begins to use an alternative spelling. This is more achievable in writing, and especially in poetry where protests and experiments are not only allowed but expected. as to the vowels, i have noticed what i call the “shift” in that an ‘a’ id either “‘a’ as in pay, or ‘a’ as in cat, an almost ‘e’ sound, and ‘e does the same thing with ‘i’ as do ‘o’ and ‘u’, and ‘u’ almost circles back to a ‘short a’

      i think we would not give up meaning or sound, in the mouths of most speakers of English if we gave up the short and long uses and maybe added one or two more vowels. barring that, we could standardize the rule of adding an ‘e’ which is common but not universal, along with the double consonant for a short sound, which is almost universal. i am not too worried about the rules, and not too upset, though not sure its needed to have subset rules like “‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’. if the English language was so ordered without fail, and every time we imported a word, we gave it that form, no matter the original, we would not suffer for it.

      1. I agree with your comment in the first paragraph, in that vowel sounds run together with one vowel sounding very close to another vowel sound.

        I don’t think your suggestion in the second paragraph of adding vowels will have much traction. When I first thought of changing English spelling, I wondered about introducing new letters for the second vowel sounds. In the grand scheme of things, any reformation of spelling will be met with some resistance. Adding letters will only increase the resistance. Not to mention, all typewriter and computer keyboards would have to be modified to accommodate the new letters.

        In this sentins II hav taakin yor iideeu from thu first perugraf and ritin this akording tuu mii ruuls for EEnglish speling.

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