English is a stupid language?

I was looking at the entry to HND requirements and it stated that you must have 1 A Level in an English related subject and 4 O Levels. I don't know about you but I have met a number of people whose A level is in a non-English or non-related subject thereby closing to them the opportunity to study either a ITB or even at the local private institutions in Brunei. Twenty years ago, these people would have been able to go to England under government scholarships to do HND there. Heck, 20 years ago 2 A Level at Grade 'E's would enable you to get a scholarhsip to do a degree. Times certainly have changed but the English requirements have remained. Though English is not an easy subject.

Let's face it
English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

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 it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this observation,
It ends.


Anonymous said…
It does raise a question doesn't it, regarding why there are more students with non english O or A levels qualification considering the internet, the tv shows, the books and magazines, the medium majority of subjects taught in, the popular culture are all in english.

I was fortunate I was raised in a dual language household, I envy my chinese friends who were raised up on three languages!

I guess reading something like this does make the non english speaker find why english is so confusing to learn. 'Inda masuk akal' hehehe. But that goes for all languages doesn't it, like the Inuits, they have fifteen different words for snow alone.

English is an eccentric language, its basically made up of bits from various languages so therefore, english is an international language!
Anonymous said…
Nice post Mr.BR.. really witty and clever. Made my day reading it.. *hehe* God Bless!
Anonymous said…
The word "Hamburger" comes from Hamburg, Germany. It is a common misunderstanding that Hamburger is a term combined of Ham and Burger.
Anonymous said…
Hmm...I don't know, but I noticed that my friends who are fluent in English don't really know how to speak or write Malay well.
Anonymous said…
"The Mother Tongue" by Bill Bryson, is a really good book on the English Language and its evolution. Highly recommended.

**I can resist anything but temptation**
Anonymous said…
Very nice post..so true!
Anonymous said…
There are also some weird gramatical rules that some how I just find silly. Partically the use of the the word 'but'. ie you cannot start a sentece with a 'but'. But why not? Languages changes that refelect the current times. New words and terminology becomes part of the language as they become frequently used by popular culture. Yet I will lose points in an english essay if I start a sentence with 'but'. Aarrrrggg Any english teacher out there tell me the logic behind this?
- excuse my morining ramblings -
rose said…
the beauty of english... easy to manipulate the words hehe... so its fun.. and since its my second language... salah pakai pun nda papa..cos i was always worried about the pronounciation and kept on asking my friend for help..

ill quote one of my friends who is teaching english 'jgn tah luan ingau pasal pronounciation atu.. urg puteh pun nda jua pandai lurus drg ckp melayu'

until now my grammar alum tah lagi pass hehe...

but nice post nevertheless....
Anonymous said…
u copied that from me,isn't it!

Popular posts from this blog

Brunei Royal Wedding 2015: Profile of Royal Bride Dayangku Raabi'atul Adawiyyah

Family Titles in Brunei

Pulau Cermin - Brunei's Historic Island