English is Awful: The Introduction

comical poetry cannot stand youEnglish is the language we speak, the language we write and the language that, presumably, is still dominant on the Internet (I couldn’t actually verify that fact, but it was as of 2013).  So, that being said, you gotta stop sometimes and wonder — why the Hell are we still using a language that’s so fucked up?

For most of us, it’s the default language of our country, our families, our communities and because of this, we’ve just sort of gotten used to it and all its idiosyncrasies.  As a professional writer and armchair giver of advice, I decided it was high time that someone addressed some of these things about English that are just awful — so starting next Thursday, March 20, I’ll be running a special piece called “English is Awful.”

Modern English speakers mostly have the British Empire to blame for these nonsensical language rules, since British English started absorbing all sorts of bits of other languages as it slowly crept across the globe.  By 1755, when Samuel Johnson wrote the first formal dictionary, the language was already such a mess that it’d never recover properly.

In fact, part of the reason we needed a dictionary in the first place was to finally formalize and standardize the language.  When there are twelve ways to spell potato, communication can get tricky.  As English-speakers became more literate, it was vital that there was a central authority to govern spelling and meaning of words… so there’s that, too.

… I think that’s why we freak out when words like “twerk” and “LOL” are added to the dictionary.  It means they’re official.  They’re *words*!  English is a messed up language, to be sure, so let me be your guide through the rougher parts of it and maybe, just maybe, we can sort out all the reasons that English is awful.