Sunday, July 19, 2020

Earth With A Capital “E”—Be Proud of Your Planet!

Gripin’ ’Bout Grammar—#1 in a Never-ending Series

Today, we are looking at how the English language abuses our planet.

Lt. Col. Ed White, US astronaut. in orbit
above the Earth. When I was a kid,
this poster hung on my wall.
English is the youngest language on Earth (and that’s with a capital “E”—more on this in a second), and with the exception of made-up languages like Esperanto or Ubi-Dubbi, is perhaps the craziest, most confounding and contradictory language on Earth, as well.

Sure, Mandarin Chinese or Arabic or Basque (which is the closet language on Earth to Martian--being of Basque heritage, I can make that joke) are very difficult to learn, with eccentricities regarding pronunciation and so on, but nearly all non-English-as-a-first-language speakers that I have taught have confirmed that it’s English’s multitude of homophones and its non-standardization (its vs. it’s—but “apostrophe-s” is usually possessive, right? This is one native speakers of English still have trouble with) that really drive English language learners nuts.

Because it’s the youngest language on Earth, the English language is still figuring things out.