The Curious Case of the English Language

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Yatagarasu, Aug 10, 2015.

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  1. For context, the reason why I am writing this post is because I don't think I have stressed my point on my hatred for the English language enough...

    Yes, it's my native tongue. Yes, my Chinese (note: I was born in China) is worse than my English. Yes, I use English to communicate with 99% of the people I meet. HOWEVER...I still bloody hate English.

    Like seriously, seriously, what was going on in the people who invented English's minds. I swear their one of their conversation went like this:

    A: Hey ya know the words like nowledge, nife, nee etc.?
    B: Yeah?
    A: Ya know I think they don't really look complete. We should add another letter in front of those words.
    B: Which letter? What other letter would allow those words to keep the same pronounciation?
    A: hmm..OH I KNOW, THE LETTER K!
    B: You're a genius.

    Now I ask you. What's something you hate about the English language?
    #1 Yatagarasu, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  2. ^ why I love Quenya

    Invented language, so it has the benefit of not having any random appropriated words from other languages (like ballet, taco, kindergarten) in it

    No silent letters

    All characters in the alphabet (henceforth referred to as Tengwar) are phonetic. Each sound has a character, if you want to make the 'K' sound it's always with the Calma character. If you want to make the 'th' as in 'think' sound, it's always with Thuule.

    I used to take notes in Quenya/Tengwar when I was in college; it was just so much faster/simpler to write in. Pain in the ass when the instructor wanted to read our notes though

    Not having these benefits are things I seriously hold against English
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  3. You are so right XD

    The whole "Ph" basically being "F" things like "though" is perfectly fine being "tho"

    But even worse is same words meaning different things -.- if the words taken, then use a different word DX but if they do that, they'll modify it like "Phishing"

    And then the fancy scale. I'm not the fanciest guy so I can't quite give an example, but the same thing will basically have 7 different words for it. Body parts being a good example like look at medical definitions >.<

    Legit word, look it up. These people are like "hmmm, we need to be smar... I mean contain greater intellectual illusions over citizens. So I shall entrust this overly-complex word to TWO Different check up methods, that way a citizen shall only be at most, half as intellectual as myself."

    AND FUCKING SILENT LETTERS????!!!! WHY??????!!!!! DX

    "My name is Xdaniel. The "X" is silent"
  4. Don't even get me started on words that have two DIFFERENT pronunciations.

    Now, my fellow Iwaku friends:

    -Is it financial or financial?
    -Is it caramel or caramel?
    -Is it direction or direction?
    -Is it route or route?
    -Is it data or data?

    If you are annoyed to the max, don't worry, even I am not content with this content.
  5. In fairness, connotation plays a role here. We mean different things when we say 'pretty' and 'beautiful'. Slightly different, but different
  6. English is an interesting language that formed because back in the day when all the monarchs and nobles were French, that was the language that was spoken amongst nobility and as such it has proper rules and structure because it was properly taught and educated.

    Meanwhile, because screw those filthy peasants, French was not really taught to anybody, let alone affording anybody an education, so the general populace started going crazy with slang and improper sentence structure and anything that would have made a linguist cry. By the time the average citizen started getting an education, it was too late. The damage was done and the English had become a unique and fucked up language that tends to play by its own rules compared to other latin languages.

    Basically, imagine the gibbering psychos from Borderlands eventually becoming civilized enough that their insane bullshit became the norm and you have an idea of how English came to be.
    #6 Dervish, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  7. Well that explained everything. That actually explains why there are so many rules with so many exceptions now I think about it.

    But seriously this bullshit
  8. British English: Schedule pronounced SHEDule.

    American English: Schedule pronounced SKEDule.

    I'll sum up my thoughts; the proper pronunciation should be taught in SKOOL.

    And I'm not even American.

    ALSO mayor should be pronounced in a way that doesn't confuse it with a horse.
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  9. Recipe and receipt. Thank fuck for spellcheck.

    English as a language is funny as fuck, otherwise. What most people find extremely frustrating, I find hilarious because it's so absurd.
  10. There's an entire poem about words with different prononciations and you have to read them out of context. The only way you can tell if it is read or read is by looking at the rhyme.
  11. The only English language things I hate are dumb slang terms, and those mostly because of how they get used way too much as soon as they get popular, like people just HAVE to prove they're hip and modern by saying "bae" every five minutes.

    However, all the homonyms and silent letters and rules with many exceptions are great, I love them. They make the language more interesting than others I've learned much of, both in usage and from a pure linguistic history standpoint. I enjoy finding out weird new things with the language and researching where the hell it came from and why it is that way instead of some way that would seem more intuitive.

    Then again, maybe I'm just a masochist. That would also explain why I enjoy this disorganized mess of a language.
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  12. Ooh, English. I like this topic.
    Norwegian axes, German phonics, Latin bibles, French nobles, and the marriage of the deranged drunken mess that is Welsh, Scottish, Briton, and Irish. It was then baked in an oven called "2,000 years of pestilence, famine, and death."

    If I had to pick one thing to dislike in this otherwise marvelous language, it'd probably be the fascination with having multiple words that sound the same spoken verbally, but which are spelled differently. Which witch? To, too, two? Which write is right? Et cetera. Not because it confuses me--it doesn't--but because it's apparently incredibly confusing for ESL students.

    That aside though, I actually really like English as a language. It's a flexible example of a thing derived via exposure to multiple cultures, which can be as complex or simple as you'd like it to be. It can be spoken coherently by an ill-educated neanderthal, or a well read member of the bourgeoisie. Il peut ne pas être aussi jolie que Français, but it gets the job done. Plus, if you think English grammar is fussy, try French grammar: Where every single object that exists has an assigned gender. How about Chinese grammar, where every word has different meanings depending on the tone in which you pronounce it, which can dramatically change the meaning of a sentence. :ferret:

    Random splurge about language
    English is a unique circumstance of geographic birth. England became an epicenter of several societies, one after another, who all influenced the developing culture and language--from the ancient Romans, all the way to the Normans. Ergo, English has stolen words and grammatical structure from nearly every other European language. It should also be noted that Slavic, Greek, & Latin, are the primary bases of written languages in Europe. This, in spite of the fact that there are at least a hundred or so vocal languages in the area that developed out of them--some of which grew together, others which went extinct or became local dialects. (Scottish English is very, very different sounding than Briton English.) This is an important distinction because it explains why Français & English can use the same basic alphabet (ABC), and yet can come up with two entirely different pronunciations for what are otherwise the same letters. For example, "e" in English is pronounced "ee", but in French, it is "ou". Same letter, different sound. While it sounds odd to say that "e" sounds like "ou" to a native English speaker, a native French speaker has the reverse experience.

    Also, language constantly evolves. If you spoke the same English that ancient peasants used in the time of Shakespeare (not Shakespearean English, which is different from what the peasants used) to people of today, you would be unintelligible. If you were somehow able to write, you would need someone to translate what it is you wrote for the layman to understand. You can even see the evolution of English in a modern context between Americans & British: Color versus Colour, neighbor versus neighbour, organize versus organise, dialogue versus dialog, analyze versus analyse, et cetera. English stole the "ph" = "f" sound sound from the Greek Alphabet. (Phi is the origin, we rolled with it ever since.)
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  13. "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."


    Also, I fundamentally have a problem with some of the terminology we use on a day to day basis. In the States, when you ask for your itemized invoice at a restaurant so that you can pay, you ask your server for the "check." For example, you might flag your waitress down and say "check please," or "can I get the check?"


    It's not a check. Technically, if anything, it's a bill. It's a statement, it's an invoice.

  14. Because it also means bill, though it's becoming archaic as bill has become the more widely used term.

    "25. A slip or ticket showing the amount owed, especially a bill for food or beverages consumed."

    Now you know. :ferret:

    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 diet, lord and word,
    Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
    (Mind the latter, how it's written).

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  16. I know, but this is not helpful.

    That's essentially saying, "define check" and the dictionary spits out "bill."

    So why not just call it a bill!?
  17. Same reason that sound refers to noise and noise refers to sound. Sometimes words have arbitrary meaning as a start point. Check came from cheque, since for a while, it was not uncommon to pay restaurant bills with cheques.

    It's an oddity about English. Lots of words have identical or near-identical counterparts. "Pretty" and "beautiful" are the same, but nonetheless we use them both.
  18. I disagree that "pretty" and "beautiful" are the same. Like Minibit noted up above, the connotations for the words are different.

    That type of thing is commonplace in most languages; having slightly different words for the same general meaning. I'd agree that "pretty" and "beautiful" are synonyms, but I would never agree that they mean the same thing.

    Also, "noise" has plenty of meanings that "sound" doesn't quite encompass, and vice versa.

    But never in my 29 years of life have I heard any American refer to their itemized invoice as a "bill."
  19. Then I would wager a guess at local dialect and the setting. "Faggot" used to mean a bundle of sticks. "Fag" in Britain means a cigarette. "Check" in a restaurant means someone's bill.

    It's just like how the language you use for business is distinctly different from every day language. Different settings call for different terminology, it ties back to social strata. Other than historical connotation for its use? I don't know why we use check instead of bill in restaurants. Same way that I don't know why you would ever call someone pretty when you could call them beautiful, or someone sexy instead of attractive.

    I guess some people just enjoy flowery language and/or don't question why, so they keep perpetuating it and passing it along to their children. It seems to be how slang is birthed and then slowly integrated as part of the language. :ferret:

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