Happy New Year, everyone! (I know I’m late but don’t judge me… please)
There is one thing that’s a-burnin’ a hole in my brain. What’s the hardest language one EVER has had to learn? English! Listen: irregular spelling in words as well as awkward pronunciation are key factors in the difficulty of English. There are countless rules that will have to be obeyed when learning English. No wonder English is so damn hard!
The first example comes from Why English is So Hard written by…. well, the author name is marked by Anonymous:
We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese,
You may find a lone mouse or a whole nest of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But a bow if repeated is never called bine,
And the plural of vow is vows, never vine.
If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
If the singular’s this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss ever be nicknamed keese?
Then one may be that and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren,
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim!
Confused? So was I. But try this one on for size:
“I” before “E” except after “C” or when sounded like “A” as in “neighbor” or “weigh.”
Um…. that’s just weird.
Bomb, comb, and tomb. The “o” in all three of these words have different sounds, and each word starts with a different letter. Yes, tomb as in the phrase “from womb to tomb”
So do laughter and daughter. Augh!!
Ditto for height and weight, sour and four, and lead and bread.
Spelling can be tricky, too…. silent letters be damned. (BTW damn has a silent “n” at the end.)