Doesn’t The English Language Have Too Many Consonants?

Dear Ron,

Don’t you think that the English langwige has too many consonants? I am a poor speler and I am sick and tired of misspeling words and looking like a foool to my new wyf and childrin. For examplil. It is not necesaree, in my vyu, to have dubel consonants. Consider: lock, dick, prick, wick. We could do away with one of the consonants in each of these words and they cood   be a lot easier to spell. Yes, there ar rules, but I hav found there are so many exceptions that learning the rules is almost cownterproductiv. Help me to understand, if you wood, why English words ar such a pane to spel.

Dik

Dear Dik,

You are right. English is a pain to spell correctly. There are lots of reasons for this, which I will not get into just now out of fear of boring most of my readers to the point where they will never read my column again. I am sure you understand. But –and this is a pretty big but – there are other languages which are worse, and you might do your nerves a favour by reminding yourself that you are lucky you are not required to spell in these languages .

Always look at the bright side, Dik. Furthermore, the reason you cite for being frustrated is telling of a psychological limpness which you obviously wish to avoid. You state that you do not wish to appear a fool in the eyes of your new wife and children.  Are you so insecure in yourself that you would expect them to judge you for that? The answer is yes. You are. And that, I would venture to add is lots worse than not being a good speller.

My advice to you is to not think people are so eager to make a fool of you.  And If they are, let them. People have always tried to make a fool of me and look where it got them – they all read my column and stew in their own rancid juices. It serves them right too. Look to me as a model, as some do, and ignore  them, Dik. And don’t be too hard on yourself. From your letter I can see that you got at least half the words spelled correctly. Be an optimist.

I can’t tell if this is going to help. (my insecurity) If it does, let me know.

Dear Ron,

It did help. I took a course and now I spell like a champyon.  And besuides, I now  don’t give a dervish what my new wife and children think about my us of the English langwich! But still. To go on about English just a tad longer. What is it abowt these dmnable  puntewation rules. I am geting sick of peopl telling me I don’t use semi-coluns properly. What ar yer views on the semi-colun?

Dubius Dik

Dear Dik,

I never suggested you take a course, okay fella? So you want to bore my readers further with your little stickler questions? Fine. It has been a slow week on the question front, and so I will answer your asinine query to the best my patience will tolerate.

You have something against the semi-colon. Can’t you just not use it? Those people you mention would probably just forget about your punctuation deficit and leave you in peace. By the way, I am coming to believe you are a paranoiac with a language fixation like that guy Noam Chomsky, the deep grammarian.

Besides you hardly ever come across semi-colons anymore outside of the stuffy book community. Normal people eschew it completely. It has been replaced by the comma by most normal people. Dah! Only a snob would use a semi-colon in, say, a letter or e-mail. Where have your friends been for the past fifteen years. Punctuation  has gone the way of T-Rex. (Don’t blame me!)

Next you will be wanting to know why we must capitalize the first letter of a new sentence or why we have sentences at all.  You don’t deserve my time and grey matter. Don’t bother me anymore!

I really don’t care if this helped or not.

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