The English language is complicated but it's also wonderful. There are so many different ways to say everything. I can say that something I like is wonderful. Or I can also say that it is marvelous, fabulous, terrific, super, magnificent, glorious, superb, delightful, spectacular, first-rate, gold star, award-winning, all-time-favourite or great. (And those just the first synonyms that came to my mind.
I know that folks who are learning English get very confused by our inconsistencies. One house, two houses, one mouse, two mice. The comedian Gallagher does a wonderful bit on the messed up grammar and ridiculous "rules" involved in our language. For example, he felt that it makes no sense that "The word "big" is very small and the word "little" is big." The comedic master George Carlin observed that "we drive in the parkway and park in the driveway". More English language insanity.
But I feel that most of the quirks and whims of our language just makes it more interesting, more colourful, more fun. The part I have a real issue with is spelling. I think that way we choose to spell words is bizarre. Even our alphabet is crazy.
Some of the letters are fine just as they are. L is an L is an L. Same with a D and a B. but C, K and S, on the other hand, the standards around them are very loosey goosey. And that is just wrong.
Sometimes a C is pronounced as an S. Like in the word "Dance" Other times a C is pronounced as a K. As in "Crash". And then if you pair it with an H you can that hard "Ch" sound: "Church, Change, Chaps". A K is almost always a K such as " Kind" except when it's silent like the word "knife". S is pretty much always an S, "Silent, Sad, Silly" But it becomes an entirely different sound when there is an H next to it, "Shade, Shelf, Sherrif".
Personally I think the C ought to just be a "Ch". We already have a K and an S that work just fine. So the alphabet would be A, B, CH, D ...like that. And the silent K in knife? Retire it. It's not doing the work of the other letters, not holding up it's end of the job. It's time to let it go.
This popped into my head the other day when I was not sleeping and doing that name game that I do to try to bore myself to sleep. In case you are unfamiliar, the game goes like this. I have to think of 5 boys names and 5 girls names for every letter of the alphabet. And there are actual rules to this game. For instance, whatever names I list have to be real. At least one person had to have had this name. It can be a fictional character but I cannot make it up, I had to have read or heard of it at least once.
So I thought merrily along through A, B and C. But shen I got to the letter C for girls I listed, 'Caroline, Claire, Charlotte"....and then I stopped. I realized something and my brain wandered off on that thought. This is the direction that it took:
The girls name 'Charlotte' is a derivation of the boys name 'Charles'. This is actually a true thing. So, I ask you, why is Charles a hard "CH" sounds but Charlotte as soft "SH" sound? It makes no sense.
I actually like the name' Charlotte'. I always have. When I was expecting my children (and back then we didn't know the gender ahead of time), the name 'Charlotte' was actually on my short list of possible girl names. I've known a few Charlotte's in my life and they were all very nice people. One went by 'Charlie' and that's kind of cute. Another one went by 'Lotte', a little more European sounding but adorable just like her. So you see, this isn't me picking on the name itself. It's a great name. Just...why is the CH pronounced SH?
Here's another one, Why is 'Peggy' a nickname for 'Margaret'? Anybody know the answer to that one? And for that matter, why is 'Jack' a nickname for 'John'? It's the same number of letters! It's not any shorter or easier!! How is 'Harry' a shortened version of 'Henry'? Both are great names on their own, but I don't get how they replace one another? And 'Chloe'? What the actual heck? It is pronounced 'Kl oh ee' but, but, but..there is that dang CH again mucking it all up once again.
Another name that confuses me...how do you pronounce 'Leroy'? Is the accent on the first syllable or the second? 'Tad' is short for 'Thaddeus'? Didn't you lose an 'H' somewhere along the line? And what is the deal with the name 'Stephen' and 'Steven'? They are spelled differently but they sound exactly the same...what's up with that? And hey, it just now dawned on me, why do 'Jack' and 'Rick' have both a 'C' and a 'K'? They serve the exact same purpose. It's redundant!
Oh and the one that everyone wants to know...How on earth is 'Dick' the shortened version of 'Richard'? Please someone explain that to me. 'Rick'? Sure. 'Richie'? Okay. But 'Dick'? Nope nope nope and nope.
Oh I could go on and on. That night my brain sure did. I had questions about the whole 'Phoebe' thing, the 'Sean' thing, the' Jean', 'Gene' and' Jeanne' thing, and well, it's a long list.
Anyway, as usual, I have no answers at all, but lots of questions. If you have any of the answers, I'm right here listening.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.