Written by matwil

Saturday, 13 February 2010

image for Yet Another Modest Proposal - To Teach Americans The History of The English Language and How To Spell It Correctly
'Feasgal math, agus mi aig iarridh mo thi a-nise.' Another British language.

A modest proposal - to not only teach Americans the history of the English language, but to also teach Americans how to spell its words correctly rather than dropping letters out of words to save space, and misspelling words like primary school children do.

There is nothing troublesome about users of the English language spelling it correctly, and if American children are taught to misspell them that's their problem. British children's minds aren't 'drilled' into correct use of their own language, they are intelligent enough to learn words like 'favour', 'programme' and 'catalogue', something that also Australian, Canadian, South African, New Zealand and Irish children all manage perfectly easily, as do the millions of other people that have learned English as a foreign language across the world.

It's beyond belief that some Americans believe English was 'conceived' in Britain but is somehow now an American language - it isn't, any more than the language spoken by half of the Canadian people is. All Canadians either speak French or English or both, they don't go around saying French was 'conceived' in France but is now Canadian just because Canada is an independent country now. If the English language was whatever a holding company is the British would hold 100% of its shares, as it's their language which they all speak perfectly.

What is it about some Americans? Hispanic Americans in the USA never claim Spanish is their language, they accept being former colonials of one of the most powerful nations in world history like grownups, maybe there's a massive inferiority complex at work - if you have no real history you start calling other people's your own, and believing another people's language is yours.

There is only one differing form of English which is Lowland Scots, now seen as a separate language by the good old EU nanny state as it was developed independently from English, by Anglo-Saxon illegal immigrants in the South-East of Scotland over centuries. Americans have no language of their own and over 200 years after independence the only thing they've added to English is lots of slang words from descendants of former African slaves.

The reason many English words have endings such as 'ogue' and 'our' is because the Normans conquered England in 1066 (AD), and brought with them the French language - so thousands of English words are French ones or adapted French ones such as all words ending in 'ment'.

Anglo-Saxon was a hybrid mix of Danish, Dutch and German that was added to by Norse and a handful of Gaelic words, but gradually simplified itself by dropping masculine and feminine forms of all nouns and most pronouns, though you will still hear 'thee', 'thou', 'thy' and 'thine' spoken in parts of England. And the complicated spellings of such word parts as the famous 'ough' one come from the endless dialects and accents in the United Kingdom, which represent the massive amount of history in Britain that Americans simply don't have.

Bough, rough, cough, dough, through, though, etc., which foreigners usually pronounce in the same way if they can't manage English too well - Americans are foreigners speaking English and ... have had to pronounce thousands of differing words as the same to make it easier for them to say. The British, of course, manage speaking and writing their own language perfectly well.

America ignorance about the English language and the British people is breathtaking, they seem to see the UK as a simple place with no history that just happened to send over a language to North America that anyone can speak. Nobody in Britain speaks as newsreaders on the BBC do, but they and actors in British films have to speak like that very a very simple reason -

if they used 'normal' British accents most of the British population wouldn't know what they were talking about! If people in cities as close together as Liverpool and Manchester or Glasgow and Edinburgh visit the neighbouring ones they often can't understand what people are saying to them.

Americans also don't seem to know much about their own small history. The language they now speak is the English one of the 1500s when the first English settlers sailed there from England, and so (basically) is the American accent. Yet try and tell an American that and they'll get all hurt and suggest its 'their' words and accent they invented themselves. It isn't.

Americans still use many words now obsolete in Britain, and there were no cities then in England - so all the English spoke in a similar rural accent where 'news' is 'noos' and dog' is 'daag' and all words were slowly drawled. Some of William Shakespeare's puns in his 1500s plays only work if you put on an American accent, so that while American actors speak Shakespeare's lines in a 'BBC accent' it would actually be closer to the original using a Midwest one.

That accent has changed in America but not by very much, and is still used in rural England and in one city, the city of Bristol. No coincidence that Bristol was the centre of Britain's slave trading industry, indeed uniquely the black population there are descended from the only slaves used in Britain rather than from newer West Indian arrivals.

Many English words have more than one way of correctly spelling them such as 'organised' and 'organized', others are simplified spellings like 'fox' from 'fochs/fuchs', in North England the 'u' in words like 'up' is still pronounced as the Germans etc. do - 'oop' - and as almost all British people live in cities thanks to the Industrial Revolution when Britain invented the modern world some bizarre regional dialects and accents have developed over the centuries.

The 'Brummie' one of Birmingham, made famous by Ozzie Osbourne, the 'Cockney' one of London, the Yorkshire one (Yorkshire is almost a separate nation from the rest of England), the 'Scouse' one of Liverpool and the version of Scots spoken in Tyneside. There's also the Scots of South-East Scotland that North Europeans would find easier to understand than 'BBC English', the mix of Scots and Irish English in Glasgow and to add to all the fun some Scots still speak Gaelic and some Welsh speak Welsh, a 4,000-year old language.

The American attitude to English sums up so much about the USA. It believes it has its own culture which is all actually imported from Britain and Europe, it doesn't seem to learn any history about Britain, Europe or even its own country, and believes everything in America is American including the English language.

And still can't spell the foreign language of English correctly and uses such bad grammar it forces English people to boldly avoid reading half the stuff they churn out in this website full of mispelt verbiage which is so long-winded it still doesn't hide a complete lack of edumacation and even has a spellchecker that can't recognise hundreds of English words.

Marks: 2/10. Comments: Instead of reading children's books by Joanne Rowling and tame novels by George Eliot et al, it might be an idea to go to a library and read up on the real history of the English language, then try the real histories of England, the USA and the world,

as American children obviously only get taught a lot of Hollywood baloney that has no connection with reality. Must try harder. Or rather don't bother, it gives the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans and Irish great comedy watching Americans believing all sorts of nonsense about themselves because most of them have been isolated from the real world for hundreds of years.

Now where did I put my British English/American English dictionary? Oops, there isn't one, all British people understand every single word Americans are saying and writing - because its their language.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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