Pity the Poor Writer (2)

Those of us who write in English are both blessed (pronounced BLEST, not BLESS-ED) and cursed. The language is rich beyond measure, in part because it has so many sources and has borrowed liberally from so many other languages. But as a consequence of its roots and its habit of shameless cadging, it is illogical to the point of whimsy.

Note the variation in pronunciation of through, though, thought, tough, trough, plough, and hiccough. “Consummate,” “wound,” and “desert,” along with many other words, change their pronunciation depending on the intended meaning. And if vegetarians eat vegetables, what does that say about humanitarians? The vagaries of the language allow a sentence like “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick.”

I found a number of web sites that glory in the language’s oddities. One of my favorites is https://www.learnthat.org/pages/view/fun_facts.html

Pity the writer. But laugh along with him, too.

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