Who invented this damn language of ours and why do we insist on speaking it, or in my case, try to write it? I know. I know it wasn’t invented, it just kind of evolved. Our funny language evolved from the West German that the invaders spoke when they kicked butt in Britain a long, long time ago. Did you ever wonder what we’d be speaking if the Germans had just stayed home and drank beer rather than raping and pillaging the Britons (there you go – what the hell is pillaging anyway – have you ever pillaged anything or, God forbid, been pillaged?). Okay, I just looked it up. pil•lage noun \`pi-lij\ : the act of looting and plundering especially in war or something taken in war. It comes to us from the Middle English word, pilage from way back in the 14th century. Now here’s my point. What else do we use from the 14th century? Nothing ― nothing but old words. And what’s more, words in the language of the pillagers, not the pillagees.
While we’re at it, I want to rant about some other words I wouldn’t allow in my language, that’s if anyone would have asked me. I would never allow heteronyms for instance. You know what they are? Heteronyms (I know it’s hard to pronounce, but try \`he-tƏ-rƏ-,nim\, not much better, huh?) are words with identical (I mean identical like the same) spellings but have different meanings and different pronunciations. Words like lead and lead and tear and tear and bow and bow and bass and bass. We all know that one lead is a verb that means to guide and the other a noun that means leadership and finally it is a noun that means a soft, malleable metal of all things. These words are all spelled the same. Read ― His lead foot gave him the lead. How in the hell are we supposed to know how to pronounce this?
And how about homophones? These pain-in-the-ass words all sound alike but mean different things and, you guessed it, they’re spelled differently. Words like right, write, Wright and rite. If I rite you a letter I wouldn’t be doing it write. This is dumb. I still get confused whether (or is it weather) to use boor, bore, boar or Boer in a sentence. Screw it, I’m going to pick one and stick with it.
Lastly, I found a website (www.englishforums.com) that asks these thoughtful questions of our language:
• How come there is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger or apple nor pine in pineapple?
• Is cheese the plural of choose?
• If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
• If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarian eat?
• How come we ship by truck, and send cargo by ship?
• Why do we have noses that run and feet that smell?
• How come we park on driveways and drive on parkways?
• How come quicksand works 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?
• How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
• You fill in a form by filling it out, and an alarm clock goes off by going on.
• How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
• When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Does this stuff bother you too? What choices do we have? We could learn another language that has real rules and sticks by ‘em or we could invent our own language and do it right this time. We won’t have any silent letters in our new words for gnat, answer, solder, knee, yacht or psycho and we’ll spell pharmacy with an f and we’ll spell pneumonia the right way and we’ll . . .