The Comedy of Errors

English is incredibly confusing. There are two too many similar sounding words to make sense of anything. You can write down the right rights, which you had had previously. You can produce produce, object to the object, subject a subject, refuse refuse, and present a present in the present. And one of my other favorite causes for confusion: Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. For at least four more, just search “English language is confusing” on Google, and I am pretty sure no one will disagree. In fact, here are a few of my go-to quotes about the English language:

“If the English language made any sense, a catastrophe would be an apostrophe with fur.” –Doug Larson (on fuzzy punctuation use.)

“If a man were to shoot his grandmother at a range of five hundred yards, I should call him a good shot, but not necessarily a good man.” –G. K. Chesterton (on why grandmothers might have deserved it.)

“ ‘I am’ is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that ‘I do’ is the longest sentence?” –George Carlin (probably not even during a performance, just being grumpy.)
I love these quotes because I was an English major and, aside from crippling debt and a healthy dose of cynicism, wordplay is all you’re allowed to have afterward. But imagine yourself as a non-native speaker, and trying to understand all of the differences there. And what’s above is only the tip of the iceberg.
English, with all of its quirks, is very close to my heart. However, growing up as a native speaker of one of the harder languages to learn in the western world has given me an inherent advantage. Along those lines, I’ll leave you with my new favorite quote:
“Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language.” -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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