Culture - How the English language became such a mess
You may have seen a poem by Gerard Nolst Trinité called The Chaos. It starts like this: Dearest creature in creation Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse. In its fullest version, the poem runs through about 800 of the most vexing spelling inconsistencies in English. Attempting to spell in English is like playing one of those computer games where, no matter what, you will lose eventually. The problem begins with the alphabet itself. So what happened with English? Invasion and theft First, the greed: invasion and theft. Once the English tossed out the French (but not their words) a few centuries later, they started to acquire territories around the world – America, Australia, Africa, India. What does this have to do with spelling? Lazy tongues Adding to the greed is the laziness – or, as linguists call it, “economy of effort”. Sometimes sounds just change capriciously. Tongues and ears aren’t the only lazy things. And now?
Related: mix it up! Lesson plans, collections of material, worksheets etc
• Banning, complaining, ruining ...