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April 24, 2014

English Confusions

Learning any new language is never 'easy'. In fact each language might be difficult in its own way.

English, like every language, is an awkward, many times contradictory, amalgamation of...

...cultural assumptions, phonetic inconsistencies and the occasional attempt at dependable rules of spelling and pronunciation.

But when you look closely, the English language is a huge (though sometimes remarkably articulate) muddle.

This link (http://www.tickld.com/x/english-isnt-as-easy-as-you-think) is far from new. I've used it in classes for many years now, but it still holds true.

And this isn't the worst of it. Pay attention to context or you'll miss the distinction between 'tear' (which means to rip something and rhymes with 'wear') or 'tear' (which is what we see when we cry and rhymes with 'ear').

I sometimes wonder if every language has as many trouble spots as English. Perhaps so. But I have learned to appreciate the peculiar linguistic histories of a multitude of words and phrases.

I hope you will if you haven't already.

Be sure to send us any words or phrases that puzzle you, and be sure to let us know what it is about English and language learning that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


Posted by mmorf at April 24, 2014 11:48 PM


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