You may have heard this before. But there is good reason to despise the English language. Especially for non-native speakers! Thing is, I love to write. I really do. So it pains me to admit that sometimes my writer’s block stems from loathing the English language and all of its dysfunctionally absurd “exceptions” to established rules of grammar. Follow me for a moment…
- WOMB is pronounced “woom” and TOMB is pronounced “toom”, but BOMB is pronounced “bahm”.
Oh, uh… okay.
- A “pair of glasses”, a “pair of scissors” and a “pair of pants” actually refer to one item or article. But a “pair of shoes” refers to two items. It could be argued that you’d look pretty silly with only one pant leg. But I think you’d also look pretty silly with only one shoe.
Here is a list of words that at first glance you would think rhyme. Think again. All of them are pronounced differently. ALL. OF. THEM.
- Colonel is pronounced “kernuhl”. So Colonoscopy should be pronounced “kernoscopy” right? WRONG.
- It would also stand to reason that “take out” should not be “brought home”, but yet, it almost always is.
- If one person doesn’t “show up” for a “showdown”, it ain’t gonna happen.
- A “flight of stairs” involves no air travel whatsoever.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on Contranyms. That’s a can of worms even the most confident native English speaker would find disconcerting. If you dare, here’s a list.
Yet, I persevere. Because my love for writing outweighs my disdain for the words from which I must choose. 🙂