Something I’ve been made acutely aware of on my writing travels is that the English language is utter nonsense.

I’ve spent years using the language to varying degrees of success. I, as we all did at some point, studied other languages at school and they proved to be a real struggle. I’m not really blessed in terms of learning languages. I’m sure that all of the teachers who were stuck with the chore of attempting to impart wisdom to me would agree with this statement readily.

The more I worked on whatever my French and Spanish classes had me doing, the more it became clear that even though they were beating me up, the English language was worse and, indeed, a tangled mess of pitfalls and contradictions.

Why the ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ rule? It applies all of the time except when it doesn’t.

If a teacher taught, would a preacher praught?

Why is abbreviation such a long word?

Why is dyslexia such a difficult word to spell?

All of these things add up to just make the use of words become a minefield. Are you always confident that everything in the English language follows the rules?

Even the pronunciation of letters varies wildly.

Do you know what this spells?

‘GHOTI’

Yup, it says FISH.

You take the highlighted letters from these words and using just the sounds they’re used for to give a new word.

enou-GH        –        The ‘F’ sound

w-O-men        –        The ‘I’ sound

informa-TI-on –         The ‘SH’ sound

This is an oldy but a goldy but it shows clearly that we’re dealing with hazardous material when we start using language as youngsters and that we have to always keep our wits about us.

Just give me a little leeway when I write. I’m doing my best but these words things are slippery little monsters and getting them to line up in the right way is pretty tough.

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