You Speaka Da h’English?

Posted: April 28, 2013 in Humour
Tags: , , , , , , ,


The English language, although not always the most eloquent or poetic of languages, can have its moments. As a person who speaks two languages, and one who tries to learn the basics of many others (especially the dirty words!), I know that languages have many codes and rules that try to maintain a general flow, and prevent us all from sinking into the gutter, so to speak.
The gist of my topic is how on earth did we develop a language such as English? I mean, really. When we analyze the many words which are doubled and tripled, it’s a small wonder that it can be a difficult language to learn, much less master.
For instance, say this: The chili from Chile was chilly. Three words, same sound. How about this one: The dove dove under the tree. Two words, spelled the same, pronounced differently. And then, there’s this one: there was no time like the present to present the present.
How about snow plow? Got enough dough? The plain plane was on the plain. That’s just messed up!
Can you imagine, being an immigrant from China, having to learn this? I applaud any person who comes from another country and learns our language. The rules of grammar alone are enough to make you dizzy.
I find myself inadvertently talking louder to a person who doesn’t speak English well. I’ve got to stop that. They tend to look at me like I’m a kook, and rightly so. Another problem I have, and my sister Diane does this too: we tend to adopt the accent of whatever person or group we are in. Oh, it may seem funny to you, but when her and I are at a St Patrick’s celebration with real Irish people, I’m surprised we don’t get beat up. We have been looked at strangely, however. Once, at a friend’s house in Winnipeg, whose family happened to hail from India, I came close to being adopted.
However unfortunate, the previous paragraph is completely true.
Manipulating our language can be fun, too. For instance, so much can be said without actually finishing a sentence. Like, ‘There I was, wearing my best Kilt for the Queen, when all of a sudden, a huge wind came along…..’. Or ‘I used to be a guy, but NOW…..’, or even ‘It all started when my wife asked me, ‘Do these pants make me look fat?’…. These sentences do not need to be concluded, and often, you never have the chance to do so.
Did you know that English muffins were not invented in England? There is no apple or pine in a pineapple? We have noses that run, and feet that smell! A slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing. There is NO HAM in a hamburger!!!
I do not pretend to be a scholar. This topic can show up in a multitude of places, most often at ‘philosophy’ functions or bars, and I’m sure while reading this you can come up with some good examples yourselves. If I was proficient enough (if at all) in Russian or Polish or Mandarin, I’d probably realize that this is a universal problem. English is bad enough. It’s plane to sea.

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