Reading and writing English is a little easier if you grew up with it, but English is actually one of the hardest, if not the hardest language to learn and use.
The problem is our letters represent multiple sounds and many words have multiple meanings.
Some words are spelled exactly the same, but are pronounced differently.
Other words can be spelled and sound the same, but mean something totally different. In other cases, words can be spelled differently, but pronounced the same!
This is not the case with most other languages. So how do we know what’s what!? Wait, what?
Most good readers of the English language use context clues (how the word is being used in the sentence) to help them know what word is appropriate to be used in that case.
Check out these crazy examples below of our wonderful English language!
The bandage was wound around his leg to cover his wound.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
“No time like the present,” he said. “It’s time to present her with the present.”
Startled, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object being used as evidence.
We were too close to the door to close it.
When does are near, a buck does funny things.
She shed a tear when she saw the tear in her dress.
John had to write to the right people to keep his rights during his rites. See what I mean!?
Let’s face it, English is a crazy language. Consider the following:
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger.
There are neither apples nor pine in a pineapple.
Are you ready for some more?
Quicksand actually works slowly and boxing rings are square.
One mouse, two mice, means one house, two hice, right?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, then what does a humanitarian eat?! Yeow!
Who else has noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same thing, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the craziness of a language in which your house can burn up while it’s burning down, forms are filled out by being filled in, and an alarm that’s gone off is on. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible!
Just remember, we can all weather the storm, whether we like the weather or not!
Ok! Enough already! Let’s just give our brains credit for being able to sort this all out.
Thank you to Dr. Albrecht Classen, from the University of Arizona, for contributing to this article.