Why Is The English Language So Complicated?

Have you ever wondered why the English language is so complicated?

So many words that look similar are pronounced differently, and at the same time, many words that are spelled differently are pronounced the same.

The reality is that over several millennia, the English language that we know today has developed from it’s ancient roots among the tribes of the Angles and Celts, been greatly modified by the Romans, then the Saxons, Danes and Vikings, then in the 11th century by the Normans. So our language has it’s roots in all the languages of the peoples from the British Isles, Scandinavia and Western Europe. It’s no wonder that it’s complicated!

Then there are words that like the ones below that are totally confusing. I don’t know who wrote the following, but it does very well describe just how complicated the English language is.

As for me, I just like to say that we made it that way to confuse the foreigners…


There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France.

Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck, and send cargo by ship?

Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another? When a house burns up, it burns down.

You fill in a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

I’m darned if I know… Do you?

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