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Sunday, 11 May 2008

ENGLISH IS A CRAZY LANGUAGE

by Richard Lederer
http://www.bazza.com/sj/humour/EnglishIsACrazyLanguage.html


Let's face it -- English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't 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, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. 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 wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another.

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage (as compared to a horseless one) or a strapful gown (as opposed to a strapless)? Met a sung hero ("unsung") or experienced requited ("unrequited) love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).

That is why, 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.

43 comments:

Sheila Rose Mauhay Darantinao said...

I admit. I am not that good in English. I know that whenever I speak in English, there would be something wrong in my grammar. But when I read this article, I was amazed by how English too can be so wrong. Now, all I can say is that English is really such a crazy language.

I do not know. But, as I was reading this article, I was laughing all throughout. I can’t stop myself from laughing (and I know, all of my seatmates here are so annoyed of me now). I haven’t thought of such things and it doesn’t even bother me what’s the explanation of those things.

I know that the words indicated in the article that need various explanations are now totally accepted by the public. And no one had thought of questioning it. I really don’t know what ran into the mind of the author but all I can say is that he had a point. Richard Lederer is the man.

Up to now, I am still thinking of the answers for his questions. English is really a crazy language. And with this article, I, too, will become crazy!

Ma. Shiela Luzon Magistrado said...

The article is a very interesting one. Who would think that these paradoxes really happen in our everyday English? This article really brought out the creativity of the human mind.

It is very amusing that most word in the English language is not the exact meaning of how it is used or how it works. Though these words could bring confusion, they are still used in everyday communication.

This article points out that even though words are not in sync with its meaning they still makes sense. Just like the examples given in the article.

Well, I really find this article very interesting and it makes sense. English is a crazy language and I agree on that one. Maybe not the literal meaning of crazy but just a description of how and why those words were used.

Marian Denise Glipo Basallote said...

English is a crazy language. It has its peculiarities, just like a living individual. It has a lot of words and expressions that we seem not to notice, but are actually contradicting and interesting. It is simply the product of mankind’s creativity and imagination.

I never thought about nouns having varying plural forms. I never wondered why some misleading words do not readily state their origin in their names (e.g. Venetian blinds, which did not really originate in Venice). I never took notice of words that have multiple meanings and at the same time, create an opposing effect in a sentence. But, if I were still a child who thirsted for knowledge, I would have persistently asked why such things happen. I would be in a state of confusion. I would have countless questions in my head. Probably, I would have a hard time understanding the English language. However, since both the language and I have grown up so well and developed through time, I eventually found the easiest way of comprehending it. I discovered an effective technique in learning the true nature of the English language.

Indeed, it is a crazy and complicated language. But, one could appreciate the beauty of the English language only if he/she studied it by heart. The benefits one could derive from it are long-lasting and essential. Most importantly, delving deeper into its paradoxes could provide one the awareness on the natural characteristics of the English language.

Vladimir Paat Villegas said...

Richard Lederer really pointed out in his essay English Is A Crazy Language the common mistakes of a person regarding the universal tongue. He even set it in a humorous tone to emphasize how funny one can look when he makes these common mistakes. However, this tone is just used to entertain the reader, not to make a satire of the universal language.

He is right about the most common waterloos of humans who try to speak English. Even in a late commercial it was so emphasized when a woman said “It’s raining outside, aren’t they?” Even some pretend to be wise men to say “If the plural of man is men, then why not prefer humen as the plural of human or Germen as the plural of German?”

Lederer is somewhat right about this. Some of us attempt to use the word parallel to the way another word was used. We say the plural of fox is foxen because the plural of ox is oxen. But worse, most of the people are weak in subject-verb agreement. Through this, I have agreed with Lederer’s tone that the people must learn more regarding English in these areas.

In fact, those areas are not only the areas of misunderstanding. Even speech is a good place to set an arena for gladiatorial combats. Another author, Kachru, even pointed out that people have different ways of using the universal language. The way Americans speak is not comparable to that of the British. Even the way we speak English could not be the same with the way Japanese do it.

Even Journalism is a good place for English gladiatorial combats for not all papers use the same style. The style that The Makati Science Vision uses is different from the style of The New York Times. We even find gaps in our own manuals because as times go by, they are subject to further revision.

But most of all, we have to remember that nothing is perfect. As Lederer said, “English was invented by people, not computers.” The language is alive and it goes to continuous change. We could not even say that computers made it even if it came from computers because people are the ones who operate them. However, we are still contented that we have a way for different people to cross the barriers of their lands. It is only the English language which we find as the key to understanding despite our lunacy for it.

Christine Joy Ombania de Asis said...

We see how the English language has evolved through time, even before the reign of Queen Elizabeth up until this modern period, which is revealed by Kachru’s Three Concentric Circles: Variations of Native and Non-native English by Alixander Haban Escote. We also witness the changes it has undergone, the borrowing and deviation of words from different languages like Greek, Latin, and French among others. Indeed, English Language has become very vast, building mazes and bewilderments within its world, creating a topsy-turvy and tottering ride for all of us. And even though we know when and how English language develop, its origin and history, we must admit that we do not fully understand nor realize its tricks and jigs that if we only take time to observe, will surely make us think again and laugh our heads off.

Certainly, it is a very funny thing to consider such reality about the language that we sometimes take for granted. Egg in eggplant, ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple, whether there is none or there is, we cannot really help but to say “oo nga ‘no?!” But it is true! I bet that even the native speakers cannot explain a thing, yet they use this language without even asking to themselves, if a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? (This is my favorite part). Whatever the reason there is, the essay written by Richard Lederer opens my mind into the fact that the language, which is one of the hardest and most widely spoken languages in the world, is also the world’s craziest!

A Paradox, a puzzle, an anomaly, or whatever you want to call it, surely if we just explore the English language, we will realize that perhaps it is true that all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane, as mentioned in the essay. That all the English speakers, native or non-native, are guilty of silly tongues and preposterous verbiage. And for that reason, I think I can consider myself harebrained now, because even though English language is a bat in the belfry, nutty as a fruitcake, or a sick in the head, I will always love this language and how it transformed me into a more observant and mindful non-native speaker.

Anna Diana Arcega Valerio said...

I agree to what Richard Lederer had said. English is truly a crazy language for it has crazy truths lying beneath it. We do not usually take the meaning of a word as it is. For what has been cited in the text, there is no ham in hamburger. For my own example, there is no straw in strawberry. So why provide unnecessary terms when it is not visible to a certain matter? Language was made by people. English dictionary has a vast range of words that is mounting in quantity everyday. Over the years words have evolved from the Old English to what we call now as Modern English. Just look at this words: Internet, World Wide Web, iPod, etc. See? English is one of the pillars that is supporting the improvement of the technology. On the other hand, it is funny to think that we know the meaning of deep words in English. But in our own language, the Filipino, who among you knows the meaning of "masihapyo"? I am sure that you will consult your Filipino dictionaries that are long-kept, dust-covered, and has loosened pages. English is important. Even though most of us believe that English is a crazy language, it will still help us to push through the future, with the assurance of surviving the crazy world of English.

Jose Mari Hall Lanuza said...

This is is a funny article! English is a crazy language indeed. Esecially the part where he asks why don't hammers ham. I have similar questions myself. And yes, where is the pine or the apple in a pineapple? This article makes me think that the English language was made to boggle the minds of those who try to comprehend it.

I am very much amazed by the person who wrote this article. I remember a question I asked when I was very young. Why is the plural of rat rats, but the plural of mouse is not mouses? It seems crazy, I know. But don't blame me, blame the English language.

This article is funnily full of sense, despite all its senselesness. Great article.

Marie Juliebeth Monge said...

Weird isn’t it? We usually confuse ourselves with the terms in English language. We often predict that French Fries came from France. Who’d have thought that it actually came from Netherlands?

Unlike other languages, English terms are vast and can be used in different styles and ways. In this article, it is said that English speakers are verbally insane. Well, sometimes I think so too. In what language can you find terms in which you can use this time, then use it again in a wholly different meaning? Take the word “shoot” for an example. If were talking about guns, then we use it. And if were also talking about basketball, we use it again.

Literally, it’s quite confusing. On one side we can use “this” rule. But on the other side we have to use another. When we say teachers taught, we can’t say preachers praught. Why? I myself don’t know. And as I was reading this text, there are many things that kept running through my head. I wondered who in the right mind would say that you can fill in a form by filling it out, that a guinea pig is neither a pig nor did it came from Guinea, and noses run while feet smell. But I guess, that makes English unique.

Jon Bon Jovi Endaya Timones said...

Jon Bon Jovi Endaya Timones
IV-Albert Einstein

Seeing the first sentence gives you an idea of what the article is all about. It shows the complexity of the English language that we normally can not notice. We go with the flow of the present culture, believing that the English language is perfect, but by reading this article, you will just laugh about the errors or flaws that you didn’t notice when using such words.
I appreciate the way the author presents his ideas in a hilarious way. Because of this, the reader is kept alive while reading the article. He never gets bored because aside from the good topic, he also has good examples.

After reading this article, my concept about Filipinos was changed. I thought that Filipinos, especially the Filipino language, is the only language that has its own spoofs. I didn’t expect that the English language also has its flaws. Thanks to this article, my confidence in promoting Filipino language was reinforced.

Mark Tristan Angelo Morena Cabatac said...

I find this article about the english language amusing and interesting. The examples and comparisons made are witty. I agree that languages reflect the creativity of the people who composed them. However, I think that what makes language interesting is the irony of the phrases and words and how it is used by a certain race. The samples that the author used explores the complexity of the english language, although they are compared to a more literal level. But for me, both figurative and literal meanings, language has to offer are both good.

Julia Nina Somera Moncada said...

This essay really reminds me of the questions I asked as a kid. I didn't understand why tooth can't be pluralized as "tooths" or why the word "cutted" was wrong. I didn't understand why there were so many grammar rules. I asked my past English language teachers some of my questions though they never answered me. So I looked for the answers myself.

I figured out that some things like the "boxing ring" actually had some historical backgrounds. A boxing ring was originally round. But, I never found out the answer to the "tooth-teeth" question.

I thought I was weird to ask all those questions. I guess I'm not the only one who asks those questions.

Erine Emmanuelle Cawaling Hetrosa said...

The essay is very humorous but it is quite true. English is a very diverse language. The essay tackles about the different ironies with English and I find it funny and interesting at the same time.

The contrasting idea of the construction of the words creates confusion among the users. There are several words that are almost the same but are totally different when forming the past tense or the plural form. I admit to falling into confusion at times and I commit a lot of mistakes just because I thought the construction of the words is the same.

Reading this essay reminds me of all the questions I had before. I often asked questions about why or how this word came to be and no one really had the answer so I had no choice but to shut up.

I have managed to read the whole article from http://www.english-zone.com/language/english.html and there are a lot more fascinating facts to learn. I was smiling, if not laughing, over it.

Marianne Ibale Fuentes said...

English is definitely a crazy language! As I was reading this article, I think that the author wrote this for fun and for entertainment. It gave me the laughs until the end of the article. The words he used and the unusual style of his article is very amazing. I never thought of writing such kind of article. Besides from entertaining us, I think he also wrote that article to inform us what English language really is.

The questions in my mind right now are still unanswered because of that article. Instead, I think, it made me more confused why those kind of words were written but there were no explanations given. For example, the word eggplant. Why was it named eggplant while it does not have an egg in its plant? Why is it so that pineapple was named pineapple while it does not have an apple on that fruit? See? Those words that are made may be the sign of confusion among the children who are new in this world. If you taught them that on that picture, that was an egg (of course, it is white and oblong in shape), and on the letter ‘E’, the picture taken as an example was an eggplant (long and violet in color), they would be confused and would start asking questions why was that they differ in shape, in appearance, etc., but they were almost alike in terms of their names?

The one that gave me the real laugh was the word humanitarian. It was said there that ‘if a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?’ Humans? I think that even the words are alike in sound; it does not mean that the meaning of it is also alike. But if a person really does not know the meaning of the words vegetarian and humanitarian, I think he will answer the same answer I said earlier.

Why is that slim chance and fat chance are the same in meaning but when you look at the dictionary, the words slim and fat are opposites? Fat chance means something that is unlikely to happen and so is slim chance. Why is that fat chance means unlikely to happen when it could be more likely to happen because it is fat? Why?

I think, even if I asked here many, many times, my questions would still be unanswered. I know that no one really knows how all the words that were written on the dictionary came from. But people invented them, not computers, as said on the article. We are the ones who are responsible for those unexplainable words, but could they explain it to us? I think they only made those words because of fun. For instance, they saw an object they never saw before, the words would just came out from their mouth and voila! A new word would be formed. Anyway, it was only my theory. Oh, before I end this reaction of mine, I think English is not a crazy language as I said on the first paragraph. I think WE are the ones who are crazy.

Renz Danielle Dugenia said...

As I was reading the article on “English is a Crazy Language” I was laughing and laughing and all of a sudden I realized that it was really true. The article made me realize that English is indeed a crazy language and how all those things were made.

I was thinking that perhaps in this world there is such oblivion of things that are not made in the right way. And how did the inventors or the makers of such things come up to words that is like opposite of its meaning. It was so amazing that in this world we have words of the same spelling but different in meaning and words that have the same in meaning but different in spelling. But how come that it is rarely an ordinary people or person that can make or invent a new word and be publishing in dictionary? I wonder how those people enable to invent words that were very useful nowadays and how did they form words that are very complicated?

To end this up I just wanted to say that I really love the article and it made me realize a lot of things. It was just simple yet it really captured my attention to read it all over again. It was very interesting and humorous. I am very grateful that I had the chance to read such an article that gained me more knowledge regarding the English Language.

Rachel Mae Joan Naluis Sansolis said...

Reaction Paper
"ENGLISH IS A CRAZY LANGUAGE"


Upon reading this article, I have realized that possibly, there are already many people who were influenced to think and believe that English is such a crazy language. It is quite incontestable and I admit that I was amazed by every single argument listed here. Even a petty inscription of these things did not comprehend and take time to boggle my mind. That writers write but fingers do not fing and there is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; it is too tricky.

By these, perchance, I shall have stated that even I myself is not good in English yet because until now, I am still dependent in using the language nor not fluent in putting thoughts into verbal descriptions. Being an expert always require much knowledge about every unknown and unfamiliar ways to improve and to master something.

English is definitely a complicated language for some but maybe no other ordinary thinker could ever express what he thinks if he does not believe I preoccupying his mind with his planned to say philosophies amid his self trained mind tricks.

As a conclusion, English would probably be non-sense if not for the extreme foolishness of the wide thinking abilities of the people. As what was written, English was invented by people, not by computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, people are so brainy that in every word expressed, there arouses another world to marvel in.

Charmaine Moralla Kilapkilap said...

This article surprised me. The fact that we really take the English language for granted struck me as well, but still, it did not stop me from laughing. Seriously, it made me think that the English language also has its , sort of, "bad side". I mean, many people look up to it (including me), not only because almost half of the population of the world uses this language, but because most Filipinos consider somebody an intellectual if he is a fluent English speaker. But upon reading this article, I realized that the English language also has its pros and cons. I cannot help but admire Richard Ledener for his sharp wit and curiosity. This article is a must-read.

Jezel Christine Nolasco Quevada said...

In using the English language, one may find it confusing or brain-wracking. This language is said to be crazy for it consists of many rules that apply to various situation. If one tries to use one approach into two different words with similar structure, he might create an erroneous meaning to either word. One example is the using the plural form of the word. Goose’s plural form is geese but moose’s plural form cannot be meese for there is no such word, rather it should be moose. As I read through this article, I found many other examples of this kind of situation.

This article is a wonderful tool to help people understand how ambiguous the English Language might be. It explains briefly the paradoxes inside this language. It also tells the reader some of the circumstances that make this language fanatical. This article only proves that one may not use the same approach to different words, phrases or sentences.

From what I have learned and read, the English language seems to be crazy since it is divided into three concentric circles according to Braj Kachru. These circles refer to the people who are using the said language as their native tongue, as a second language and as a foreign language. Aside from that, the English language may also be approached by people based on its semantic meaning (dictionary meaning) or semeiotic meaning (social convention).

These things are but the some of the many reasons why the English language was coined as crazy. Through this article, one will be aware of the words, phrases or sentences that make some confusing. One should keep these things in mind in order for him to be effective in using the said language. This article, though short, has been a vital tool of today in the learning and understanding of the English Language.

Jezel Christine Nolasco Quevada said...

In using the English language, one may find it confusing or brain-wracking. This language is said to be crazy for it consists of many rules that apply to various situation. If one tries to use one approach into two different words with similar structure, he might create an erroneous meaning to either word. One example is the using the plural form of the word. Goose’s plural form is geese but moose’s plural form cannot be meese for there is no such word, rather it should be moose. As I read through this article, I found many other examples of this kind of situation.

This article is a wonderful tool to help people understand how ambiguous the English Language might be. It explains briefly the paradoxes inside this language. It also tells the reader some of the circumstances that make this language fanatical. This article only proves that one may not use the same approach to different words, phrases or sentences.

From what I have learned and read, the English language seems to be crazy since it is divided into three concentric circles according to Braj Kachru. These circles refer to the people who are using the said language as their native tongue, as a second language and as a foreign language. Aside from that, the English language may also be approached by people based on its semantic meaning (dictionary meaning) or semeiotic meaning (social convention).

These things are but the some of the many reasons why the English language was coined as crazy. Through this article, one will be aware of the words, phrases or sentences that make some confusing. One should keep these things in mind in order for him to be effective in using the said language. This article, though short, has been a vital tool of today in the learning and understanding of the English Language.

Karenina Isabel Apilado Lampa said...

And I thought our own language was crazy. I never realized that I had been very wrong.

The English language is unique in its own way. It technically is known as the “universal language”, because it is used worldwide. Right? Well, after reading this article, it made me think.

Why? Why English?

If we think about it, it probably is one of the most confusing languages you could ever come across. It probably is easy for us because we grew up learning it, but if we stop and think about it for even a second, it would turn your mind around. English muffins that have no connection whatsoever with England, French fries that did not originate from France, I mean, what is with the proper adjectives used?

Boxing rings that are square and quicksand that lets you suffer slowly. Could it be anymore contrasting?

Now that you think about it, pineapples don’t have pines or apples. Why would someone name them like that then?

But honestly, it is amazing how people came up with this stuff. And though crazy in its twisted way, English really is a very creative language. Why else would we get used to it so much? Despite all these questions that came up after reading the article, I cannot help but think of how strange it would be to even start bothering with the questions in the article.

We have gotten so used to it, that it only hit me how English must be crazy when I read this. Somehow, we don’t even bother to ask how these words came to be formed. And in such a complicated way, I must say.

It may be because people are ignorant. There are some instances that we use something or eat something that we don’t really know what it is or what it is for. Maybe that is the way with the English language. It just doesn’t matter if the noses and the feet use verbs that are the total opposite of each other, or that we only seem to refer to things when they are not present. It does not matter if things antonyms turn out to be synonyms when used with other words.

English is a crazy language. Yes, it is. But we have gotten so accustomed to it, that why should we bother ourselves with questions that would never have an answer?

If it were me, I would let it go. For now, anyway.

Zatia Denise Danao Gammad said...

At first glance, one can doubt the misfit of the name “eggplant” to the plant itself or “hamburger” to the sandwich itself. Notice that it is only in the English language that noses run and feet smell. So, considerably, humanitarians eat humans as vegetarians eat vegetables. Unsurprisingly, the first one is definitely wrong. The English language has been crafted through history and has gained complexity as great people such as Shakespeare and Keller tried to polish it in becoming a universal language. Whether there is no corn in corned beef or dogs in hotdogs, these words have been considered over the years of linguistic development where more misfits and oddities are discovered. That is why Richard Lederer’s “English is a Crazy Language” has found its way over hundreds of sites where people around the world agreed to what he stated in his article. With all of the people relaying the message that English is hard to learn, his stood out from the crowd.

As for me, I found it quite hilarious to see him distinguish the “flaws” of the English language, or better yet, the considered “read between the lines” kind of statements. As simple as laying down questions of why, he has made thousands of readers say “Oh yeah” or in our Filipino language, “Oo nga noh?” He is right about the analogy of pluralizing moose to meese or booth to beeth as it is universally accepted that the plural of goose is geese. However, both pluralized words are grammatically incorrect for they appear with the red squiggled underlines in Microsoft Word. Also, he has proven that the English language is completely arbitrary for houses that burn up burns down or we fill in a form by filling it out. And it is truly a question to ask why the opposites of “discombobulated”, “impeccable”, and “unruly” are inexistent. Even “nonchalantly” does not have “chalantly” as its antonym, yet it is one of the accepted words in any paperback or online dictionary. Lederer's uncovering of word origins and revealing of common grammatical errors and fallacies successfully encouraged people to dig deeper into the historical chest of the English language. And I found myself rummaging along with the rest.

Ever since I held a vocabulary builder, I have been proud to be one of the logolepts of the world. I have an appetite of an unrepentant verbivore, just like him. That is why Lederer’s masterpiece truly fascinated me because only a devoted bookgobbler can provide the best intentional assaults to the English language and still make it appreciated by most people because it is indeed factual and interesting. I am always eager to read similar works because they possess the type of creativity I admire, which is recreational linguistics. And bumping into his works is worth the time wasted for nonsense realizations do bring out a deeper thought into the development of the English language.

Just like what our Journalism and Print Media adviser said, “Not all good readers are good writers but all good writers are good readers.” Many have explained the illogical background of the English language from each book with a sticky ISBN label on its spine. Many have attempted to write the reasons of its idiosyncrasy with a broken pencil. Sadly, it turned out to be pointless. Having a glimpse of the wordy world of Richard Lederer can instantly turn a laconic fellow into a wordaholic. With a zest of oxymorons, homonyms, anagrams, and other recreational wordplay taken from his works, one can obtain the lunacy of the language and use it in his everyday conversations. Clearly the impact of this article made thousands become verbivores. And for us verbivores, we can acquire the recently discovered disease: authoritis. For those people who were not reared speaking in English, they might have trouble in comprehending the language. Nevertheless, after several exercises in speech and grammar, one can grab a book of Lederer and read the better and wacky side of English. In that manner, he will hold his chin up and proudly present himself as an insane grammarian.

RAYALYN PERLADA MONGAYA said...

English is the most widely used language in the history of our workd. Almost can speak this language. THis is what we called the "universal language". It is used in some way by at least one out of every seven human beings around the globe. Half of the world's books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English. Sixty percent of the world's radio programs are beamed in English, and more than seventy percent of international mail is written and addressed in English. Eighty percent of all computer texts, including all web sites, are stored in English. English have their own rules when they use in a sentence. Words have created with rules. They were made with a sense and they should be nice to hear.

RAYALYN PERLADA MONGAYA said...

English is the most widely used language in the history of our workd. Almost can speak this language. THis is what we called the "universal language". It is used in some way by at least one out of every seven human beings around the globe. Half of the world's books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English. Sixty percent of the world's radio programs are beamed in English, and more than seventy percent of international mail is written and addressed in English. Eighty percent of all computer texts, including all web sites, are stored in English. English have their own rules when they use in a sentence. Words have created with rules. They were made with a sense and they should be nice to hear.

RAYALYN PERLADA MONGAYA said...

English is the most widely used language in the history of our workd. Almost can speak this language. THis is what we called the "universal language". It is used in some way by at least one out of every seven human beings around the globe. Half of the world's books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English. Sixty percent of the world's radio programs are beamed in English, and more than seventy percent of international mail is written and addressed in English. Eighty percent of all computer texts, including all web sites, are stored in English. English have their own rules when they use in a sentence. Words have created with rules. They were made with a sense and they should be nice to hear. Isn't that priceless? It certainly illustrates the nuances of meanings for different words...

If it's tough for us, who were born into it, have some kind words and thoughts for those who are struggling to learn it as a second language!

Colene Pabruada Cabaliza said...

Upon reading the article, I became more aware of the ton of rules the English Language made available for us. I laughed a little, after realizing that they themselves are the greatest violators of their rules.

The English language is a great language, no doubt. It could be used for destroying communication barriers worldwide. But, it is also a language that is quite confusing and troublesome. There are plenty of rules which more often disagree with than not and there are always exceptions to the rules. A non-native to the language which is learning it for the first time may find the language very hard, tricky even. There are a lot of words that one may think to mean the same thing but actually mean the opposite. A huge effect will take place if you connect a word to another. At times, English could be very deceiving. Do not let yourself go disconcerted with the usage of some words. It may mean positive sometimes, but it could also be negative at other times. It is really fascinating yet a little disturbing that meanings of words would be a lot different with just a two or even a single letter change.

Even before, I used to laugh at how some English rules would not work out. The plural of house is never hice. The past tense of fly is flew, but crew is never and will never be the past form of cry. Why so? At times, there are reasons that even highly intellectual beings cannot understand and only English itself understands why. There are really a lot of tangles, confusions, twists and unsure things about the English language.

We should be careful in using this ‘delicate’ and ‘sensitive’ language for a simple error in the usage of letters and word combinations may lead to misconceptions, and even more serious problems.

Colene Pabruada Cabaliza said...

Upon reading the article, I became more aware of the ton of rules the English language made available for us. I laughed a little, after realizing that they themselves are the greatest violators of their rules.

The English language is a great language, no doubt. It could be used for destroying communication barriers worldwide. But, it is also a language that is quite confusing and troublesome. There are plenty of rules which more often disagree with than not and there are always exceptions to the rules. A non-native to the language which is learning it for the first time may find the language very hard, tricky even. There are a lot of words that one may think to mean the same thing but actually mean the opposite. A huge effect will take place if you connect a word to another. At times, English could be very deceiving. Do not let yourself go disconcerted with the usage of some words. It may mean positive sometimes, but it could also be negative at other times. It is really fascinating yet a little disturbing that meanings of words would be a lot different with just a two or even a single letter change.

Even before, I used to laugh at how some English rules would not work out. The plural of house is never hice. The past tense of fly is flew, but crew is never and will never be the past form of cry. Why so? At times, there are reasons that even highly intellectual beings cannot understand and only English itself understands why. There are really a lot of tangles, confusions, twists and unsure things about the English language.

We should be careful in using this ‘delicate’ and ‘sensitive’ language for a simple error in the usage of letters and word combinations may lead to misconceptions, and even more serious problems.

Venus Dimaculangan Banaag said...

Reaction Paper
Venus Dimaculangan Banaag
IV – Sir Isaac Newton

English is a crazy language, a thought that is so obvious but I only realized it after I have read this essay. There are times when the things that Richard Laderer noticed bumps into my mind but I just ignored it and told to myself that maybe, that’s just the way it is.

Most of the time, people just accept things because most people believe it’s true. Just like the times before Nicolaus Copernicus when people believed that the sun revolved around the Earth without even questioning why. The same goes with the words we utter. English is merely a product of what people think. It is the product of what ancient people wanted to call an unknown thing then the word will spread and Voila! It is suddenly correct.

If only people thought of the English language as logically as Richard Laderer did. Then maybe, just maybe, everyone will realize the irony that is the English language. But of course, why would anyone bother changing what is already accepted as correct? Besides, the English language is proof enough that when it comes to the human imagination and creativity, anything is possible.

Wilfredo Basa Fang Jr. said...

After reading the article, I realize that English is indeed a crazy language. I was so astonished in the way he listed his points and thoughts. The writer of the article presented well the things that made the English language a crazy language. And these points were presented clearly and obviously true. But I can say that the writer is somehow sarcastic.

I think this article just made us realize that if we do not know the English language and we are using it every now and then, we could be fooled by this language. There will be a possibility that we might thought that there is an egg in eggplant, there is an apple or a pine in pineapple or ham in hamburger. This only shows that English language is very important and it can help us understand the things in our society.

I think English language help us improve our logic because it gives us enough knowledge to not take all things so literal like quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

As a conclusion, English would be nothing if we will not learn it by heart because this can save us from foolishness brought by the wide thinking of people.

Driesch Lucien Rabi Cortel said...

I really agree that English is quite a crazy language. I know that English, being the universal language, is not just a joke. Even though English contain silly rules and unbelievable exceptions, it is really fascinating to explore and practice the language. It is a language that wherever you go people will surely understand. It is language that every race in the face of our planet is familiar with. Maybe that is one of the reasons why it had gone mad. I guess the vast number of English speakers is a factor why English words have different etymologies, why grammar rules have several exceptions and why the English language, itself, seemed kind of crazy.

I find the English language easy and complicated at the same time. It is easy in way that communication is easier for people with different native tongues while complicated with its mountains of rules and classifications. It may seem like a piece of cake to some but a one-heck-of-a-roller-coaster-ride to others. Even though English is tangled with all its endless rules and exceptions, it will still remain the most reliable language you have to learn and understand.

The Outrageous English has carried its unbelievable magic through the test of time. Its implausible endurance through the long and winding road of history has engraved a mark in every continent of the world. Even though it may sound undeniably mad, people see English in a way that it is as important as the rotation of the earth or as important as the heat coming from the sun.

To end this, I believe that English is an eternal proof of the madness and greatness of man.

Raymond Aldrin Sison Florece said...

To be honest, i have read this essay when i was in a review session last summer. This was one of the reading comprehension tests. And even though i have read this essay so many times, i really can't get enough of it. It really cracks me up and makes me wonder why people created this kind of language. I mean, it's efficient for it is, of course, our modern universal language and at the same time, it is very humorous (just like this essay right here and the statements at engrish.). All I can say is that the English language is a very unique yet crazy language. It really can drive you nuts just by thinking of its composition, let alone when you think of wrong grammar usage and everything tagged along with it. I am looking forward to this language's evolution in the future. Who knows? Maybe one of us could embed our own ideas into it and be remembered as a part of this crazy language.

Carisse Anne Apelo Modesto said...

English language is really a crazy one. I was laughing while I was reading it. I came to realize about such things that I was curious about before, actually, until now.

English language really is weird. I realize that at some point in my life. Well, the article really was nice. I can relate to what the writer had told there.

I believe that he was just also curious. Because, as we speak that language, or as we write it, we intend to understand and know its meaning.

Vicson Aypa Mabanglo said...

It never even crossed my mind that English language has its flaws. English? As the Universal language, has its errors? Wow! How come?

The article is hilarious and humorous but at the same time, I can say that it is also true. English is crazy. English developed and evolved through time. It has accepted new words and other new things as it developed. It accepted words and other things without even recognizing and examining if it has flaws, disorganization or errors.

Rules about the English language emerged through time. Rules that are influenced by people, of course. Rules that are not that well thought – rules that do not apply to all. In relation to the article, if rules are present and these rules are not applicable to all, therefore, contradictions and flaws may arise. Erroneous words, phrases, sentences may arise, confusing us, human beings.

But actually, we shouldn’t blame everything on the language itself. We should set aside and ponder about the fact that contradictions are mainly caused by human beings like us. Who controls the development of language? Us! Right? I mean, who named French fries as French fries – knowing that it has nothing to do with France?

We are the main cause of these flaws. But, since we have lived with these erroneous things, why would we let it affect us significantly? So why bother correcting it? Why bother thinking about it? It may sound crazy as it seems, but we had already accepted the wrong ideas as correct and errorless.

Crazy language? Crazy human beings? Truly crazy! How hilarious!

Francesca Gabrielle Rodriguez Trinidad said...

I found the article very humorous and interesting as well. It is true. English is a paradox. Most words are the opposites of each other, like slim and fat chance, but they mean the same thing. I absolutely agree to the message of the author through the article that we often take English for granted. We do not take time to explore its hidden twists.

I also agree to what she said that since people created English, it has a creative edge to it. It shows the uniqueness of man's thinking and how complicated yet simple we people think. It is such an inspiring and funny article. I would like to read it over and over again.

Alexi Erlyn Sta. Ana Carlos said...

Reading the work of Mr. Richard Lederer made me knowledgeable about certain things. On the other hand, it also made me realize how confusing the English language could sometimes be.

I became aware that a certain word may have meanings which are exactly opposite from each other depending on how it is used. I also noticed that English words are constructed in different ways. For instance, teachers taught but preachers don’t praught. Some words do not take their literal meaning just like in eggplant and pineapple. These things made me realize that we should be aware of different rules in order to attain the most appropriate word.

The things which I read convinced me that English is really a crazy language.

Dominique Josine Gonzalez Directo said...

The article is very candid. It had a comedic touch to it and it was written like the author was actually talking to you. It was as though he was trying to crack you up by trying to make sense out of the English language.

While the candor of the author cannot be missed, his point is also sent across. When you really think about it, the English language is a bit crazy. You can use this word for that, but not this word for another.

After reading this, one might find oneself thinking about more words. I did. The point is that the English language is not always accurate. That is why there are so many words. The more specific you want to get, the more words are accessible to you. It represents the creativity of people.

Jenny Marie Uno Porazo said...

During our Journalism and Print Media class, we already discussed the 99 Common Errors in The English Language. I found this lesson very interesting and factual. But, when we were assigned to read the English is a Crazy language article, I started laughing and laughing all along.
Yes, English is a I very crazy language. It has many words but some of them do not really make sense at all. I really was amazed by the article and how the English language was made to be like that. I believe that this article is a stepping stone for us Journalism and Print Media students in understanding the maze-like world of it. After reading the posted article, I tried to find the original and the full version of the article and it was more hilarious, but factual. Now I know that the English language must never be taken for granted, and must be developed through the generations.

Claire Malinao Bismark said...

From reading this essay of sorts, it's hard to stop asking questions of my own. It really does open up to the notion that the English language really is a bit on the crazy side.

Aside from laughing, I was also stopping for a moment to actually think why this word and that word mean what they do. Just like bittersweet I suppose, it kind of makes sense when you look at it wholly, but when you dissect it, it sounds funny or silly. I mean, how can sweet be bitter at the same time? This little essay was really an eye-opener on the little details of the universal language we just took for granted. I love how the essay seemed to joke and not take itself too seriously. What kind of mess that would be if it was presented in such a serious and no-nonsense manner?

The essay was easy on the eyes. It didn’t incorporate too much information and it didn’t stray from the topic, just like a good essay would. It also inspired a thought or two; why is boxing ring called a ring anyway? And why can’t it be bote instead of bit or bitten? Aah, the wonders of English language indeed.

Well, to wrap this up, the essay really taught me to think ‘deeply’ on the meanings, importance, and relevance of the words I use every day.

Monique Garcia Rosario said...

Reaction Paper
By Monique Garcia Rosario
IV- Albert Einstein

Learning the English language has never been easy. You have to know about the correct spelling, grammar and the pronunciation. There are many words you have to learn and remember. The construction of those words puzzled me. Why some words have simple spelling while some of those words in the dictionary have different spelling? I believe that English is a crazy language.

The moment I started reading the article, it really made me laugh. I realized that the construction of some words does not justify its meaning. English is really a crazy language. I was amazed because there are people who realized this idea. English language is unique. Because it is deep. It is not literal. It is made by people who have creative ideas.

The idea of this article contributed to the knowledge I have about the English language. Maybe, many of us do not know the origin of these English words but we can't deny the fact that this can help us in communicating. Maybe, English language is crazy at some point but still, we can use and understand it.

Paula Carmela Oreña Ching said...

English language is truly crazy! It developed with its errors without even bothering correcting it. How crazy!

With this article, I learned that English language has it errors too, though it may have been implied hilariously in the article. English is not that perfect after all. That is what I learned from the article.

From the article, I realized that I must not be embarrassed if I, myself, have my flaws and errors too. Because the language I am using has too.

What I am trying to imply is that, I should not feel bad after all. But I guess, we should still practice the correct English language for once we get to accustomed to errors we will live with it.

Besides, the errors that were pointed out were not actually errors, they are misconceptions that are common and can be corrected by us. The article will just confuse us, in my opinion.

Monique Garcia Rosario said...

Reaction Paper
By Monique Garcia Rosario
IV- Albert Einstein

Learning the English language has never been easy. You have to know about the correct spelling, grammar and the pronunciation. There are many words you have to learn and remember. The construction of those words puzzled me. Why some words have simple spelling while some of those words in the dictionary have different spelling? I believe that English is a crazy language.

The moment I started reading the article, it really made me laugh. I realized that the construction of some words does not justify its meaning. English is really a crazy language. I was amazed because there are people who realized this idea. English language is unique. Because it is deep. It is not literal. It is made by people who have creative ideas.

The idea of this article contributed to the knowledge I have about the English language. Maybe, many of us do not know the origin of these English words but we can't deny the fact that this can help us in communicating. Maybe, English language is crazy at some point but still, we can use and understand it.

Jesseca Louise Guibani Torren said...

English? All I know is that English is the universal language. English is used worldwide. The essay made by Richard Lederer makes me realized that English is really a crazy language.

Richard Lederer really proved his theory that English is a crazy language because he gave so many examples that enlighten me. It made me say "Awesome, he is so cool" and I was amazed because of his given examples. There are terms that are really complements on the way they were pronounced but they have different in their meaning.

This essay makes me think that English is a crazy language. It made me also give my own examples like the one he had given. I love his essay. English is truly a crazy language.

By: Jesseca Louise Guibani Torren
IV-Albert Einstein

Liezl Escaño Lopez said...

Upon reading this article about English as a language, it made me realize how English can really be a crazy language.

Learning a language is really a difficult thing. English, in particular, is really hard to understand and learn at first because it seems to give contrasting concepts just like what are stated in this article. A single phrase and a single word may certainly be alike and opposite on the other hand. All these words have these multiple meanings.

English is really making me insane. How could be these words be same and not? Its meaning entirely depends on the speaker itself , of what he wants to convey. Learning this language will definitely require patience, effort, time, understanding and interest because it will absolutely turn us wild and makes our minds spinning. But can absolutely bring us to success if we do learn this language because this language is our key to know another culture, another world.

Clarisse Anne Changco Dacanay said...

Clarisse Anne Changco Dacanay
IV-Michael Faraday

Truly, English is a crazy language. This essay was both fun and entertaining. It tells us facts but in a weird, funny kind of way. I have never really thought about all these until after I read this essay. It has shown the different paradoxes of English and its contrasting ideas. Even though it has contrasting ideas, these ideas tend to go together and not overthrow one another.

This essay shows the truth about the English language and its peculiar words. It shows that English is not just a simple language but it also has some twists. Although it has some twists, you could say that it is widely accepted and used in our world. Many people use this language but do not realize these facts. They do not spend time studying the language extensively. Although we could say that this is not a profound study, it gives us information in a different perspective.

This essay is really enjoying and informative at the same time. It shares ideas in a new and unusual way. You could say that every one of us looks at the world in an adult perspective while this essay looks at it in a child’s view. It is unique and different. I can say that this essay is a special one and I liked it very much.

Ma. Beatrice Camille Valencia Gaviola said...

While reading this article, I actually realized that I was laughing by myself. It is such a unique and creative piece, just like its topic. Although English is the universal language, and it is used by almost all, if not all, countries in the world, it is true that it may be crazy at times. There are so many paradoxes to be found. We just never really took notice!

This mind-boggling article kept me entertained during the whole time I was reading it. I kept asking myself, “why is it like that anyway?” And I’m guessing that every other reader did it too. Why is it that when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. Now I see that this language really is a tricky one.

English is definitely a complicated and crazy language. Someone who doesn’t know about it would probably think that anyone speaking it has gone completely mad and deserves to be brought to an asylum for the insane. Anyway, it was not created by computers or machines. It was invented by people like us, so it reflects the creativity and humor that we all share within ourselves. It was invented for us to express ourselves in a way that will make us comfortable.

ENGLISH GRAMMAR

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