Monday, June 10, 2013

English is one phucked up langwige.

K's phone message "ding" went off this morning at O-dark thirty.  It was an automated text from a weather app letting us know that today would be a high pollen day.  Sure enough, after I'd been up for just a few minutes I could feel something percolating in my sinuses.   A runny nose, a couple of sneezes, then the flowing mucous made it to my throat and I began coughing.  

I hate that stuff....flim.  That got me to thinking.  If it was spelled as it sounds it would be "flim", right?  But it isn't.  It's spelled "phlegm".  Really?

Are we really the bad spellers, or is it "them"?

What word butcher could have ever taken a word that sounds like "flim" and turned it into "phlegm"?  What kind of phucked up langwige is English anyway?

How many people do you know, native born, who have been speaking English all their lives and still can't spell "believe" or "cantaloupe" or "maneuver"?  English spelling is just bizarre!  I have no idea how someone could learn English as a second langwige....I mean language.

I remember when I was a kid in school and I was stumped with a word my teacher would tell me to look it up in a dictionary.  That made no sense to me.  If I knew how to spell it in order to look it up in a dictionary, I wouldn't need to look it up in a dictionary.  DUH!

Is it too late to scrap the English language spellings we have now and make up new ones....ones that are more "user friendly"?  Or should I say more "user frendle"?

Ya think I might have too much time on my hands to think about stuff like this?  Does anybody besides me think about stuff like this?  No?  I'll bet George Carlin would have.  

Dang, I miss him.



  1. The book I'm reading now is written all in Cockney English, which is even more messed-up than American English or even English English. Though really I think most languages are messed up like if you wanted to learn to write in Chinese or Japanese where there are a lot more than 26 letters to deal with.

    Though have you ever wondered how words even came to be? Who decided we should call the sky blue? Or grass green? There's so much we take for granted today.

  2. From many comments on fb, standard English spelling is defunct anyhow. Ya got yer wish!


  3. Bad spellers need to unite! Maybe we could have our government make some new spelling rules. Hmmm, I don't know. First problem would be with other bad spellers; for instance I believe phlegm should be spelled flem and you want it spelled flim.

    I guess we could have regional spelling zones.

    "You are now entering Texas, remember to spell flem, f l i m!"

    1. "Peaceful coexistence". Fair enough. ;)

    2. No....wait. The GOVERNMENT making new spelling rules? God help us!

  4. My dad is with you here - he's always ranting about how words are spelled. But you know, when I was in high school we had to memorize the preface to the Canterbury Tales - written in Middle English. After you try to read that stuff you start thinking that maybe today's spelling isn't really all that bad!

  5. I said something like this in a post recently and was reminded by a commenter about the failed language experiment called Esperanto.

  6. There's a whole website for "Esperanto"...supposedly easy to learn....doubt that.

  7. You should not complain about English. English is a piece of cake.

    Proof: A 63-letter word used for the title of a beef regulating law in Germany will no longer be used. The whole of Germany is probably breathing a sigh of relief after a 63-letter word – Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz – was dropped from the language.

    The huge word, which is the title of a beef regulating law, was one of the longest ever in the German language.

    As well as being a mouthful to pronounce, the word was also no longer needed after the EU said the country didn't have to run BSE tests on healthy cattle anymore.

    So there.