The Life And Times Of A Traveller

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Originally published March 19 2010

Yu Gotta Luv English

I would hate to be an immigrant relocating to an english-speaking country. The english language has to be the hardest to learn as a 'second language'. And let's not even get into the regional dialects and accents in the various english-speaking countries. Some english-speaking people can't even understand or comprehend the meanings of other english-speaking people! So how on earth is a non-english immigrant supposed to master english?

English is the third most spoken language in the world, with Mandarin Chinese being the first (by a long shot!) and Spanish second. French? Fourteenth. Get over it.

Even in the above two paragraphs, I have used words either singularly or in phrases that have a different or alternative meaning to the way I wrote them:

  • "I would hate to be"
  • "let's not even get into"
  • "how on earth"
  • "Get over it"
  • "to the way"

That list could go on forever! And then there are the words that sound the same, but have completely different meanings, or spelled the same, but their meaning depends on where and how they are used in a sentence! Confused yet?

Let's make a list of some of the common incomprehensibles of the english language, just for fun. I'm not going to explain them all. Figure it out:

  • supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (heehee)
  • wrote, rote, write, right, rite, read, reed
  • very, vary
  • bought, bot (colloquialism), brought, brat (braut, bratwurst)
  • kid (child), kid (baby goat)
  • tho, thou, though, through, thru, threw
  • do, do (colloquialism), do (music), dew, dough, doh! (colloquialism)
  • light, light, lite (colloquialism)
  • spring, spring, spring
  • way, whey, weigh, weight, wait
  • cereal, serial
  • your, you're, yore
  • there, their, they're
  • back, back
  • see, sea, seen, scene
  • so, sew, sew, sow, sow, so-so (colloquialism)
  • some, sum
  • sent, cent, cents, sense, scents
  • bough, bow, bow
  • pronunciation - rough, brought, though
  • you, yew, yew
  • compare pronunciation - sew, yew
  • try, tri
  • break, brake
  • hide, hide
  • mad, mad, made, maid

I got mad because they made the maid go mad.

Yikes! Who the heck can make [sense - scents - cents] of this complicated language? I made that list off the top of my head in just a few minutes. I'm sure there are a lot more. Chime in with your list suggestions! ("chime in" LOL)

I just thought I would have some Friday Fun with this. I've got some more serious posts coming up, but let's keep it light-hearted today.

There, I just used a bunch more - ''posts', 'keep', 'light-hearted'. It never ends!

Randall Hawes

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