English is Tricky

While in school, English was one of my favorite subjects. I find words fascinating and beautiful. Words can create images in your mind. They can cause emotions to rise. They can excite your senses. They can bore you. Words are powerful. They have overthrown governments, spurred men into battle and began reformations. Very few people use English properly, mainly due to our dialects and local inflections. It seems that foreigners speak and use English so much better than we do. As a matter of fact, proper English can sound foreign.

I remember trying to teach my children rules about English and spelling. And what makes sense to a child, because you said it did, makes you realize how many exceptions there are to all the rules. To make a plural you add an “s” except in words like geese, mice and deer. Pronunciation isn’t easy either, as George Carlin pointed out: bomb, comb, and tomb which look like they should rhyme, but do not.

Here is a wonderful ABC song by Bare Naked Ladies that brings out the trickiness of pronunciation and silent letters.

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