English Questions

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Why do we say "iern" when it's spelled "iron"?

Why do we have to put a "u" after a "q"?

Why does it seem like english has more exceptions than rules?


  • Reply 1 of 7
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    Uh i'll leave those answers for the more english natives...

    Haha... the <a href="http://www.engrish.com"; target="_blank">Japanese Engrish </a> humor... (not only for Windows..) <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
  • Reply 2 of 7
    thuh freakthuh freak Posts: 2,664member
    well, how you pronounce things is largely dependant on where grew up, and where you live. i think the more phoenetical way of my version of iron, is more like: i-yrun. but then again, there are plenty of words that i pronounce nothing like how they are spelled. "one" is a good example. there's no good reason for it to have a w's sound in the beginning. it looks like it should be pronounced more like own. there are also words taken from other languages, pushed into the roman alphabet, and mixed among english so they aren't really english. like my cousin's name: niobm. pronounced "nee-of".

    the stupidity of the language probably has many reasons. it's a bastardized language in many ways. it came from olde english. and morphed into middle english when they added many bits of nearby languages (like gaelic). then they added in a lot of french, and french like, phrases and phraseology to make "modern" english. then vernacular changed a shitload, and we come to more actual modern time. plus england went and conquered the globe, spreading the language all over, and bringing back many peoples' new pronounciations.

    its basically a stupid language, that seems to disrespect its own rules more than not. all you can do is sit on ur hands tho. english aint goin' nowheres.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    a10t2a10t2 Posts: 191member
    Sigh... this is going to degenerate into one of those "park on a driveway and drive on a parkway" things, isn't it?

    Short answer, because English is the bastard child of a dozen European languages that have been completely mangled by regional accents and dialects that somehow got folded into the "correct" forms over the years.

    English is without a doubt one of the hardest languages on Earth to learn, and on behalf of everyone who speaks it without trying I'd like to apologize to everyone else.

    Heh, that came dangerously close to pressing my "global American homogenization" button. ;-)
  • Reply 4 of 7
    giaguaragiaguara Posts: 2,724member
    if it helps you ... most italians dont know to use the conjunctive correctly.. in italian
  • Reply 5 of 7
    IIRC, when the rules of grammer were being codified in England a few centuries ago, they tried to make the langauge appear more like Latin (the scholarly language at the time), which was actually kind of silly, since English has Germanic roots, not Latin.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    overhopeoverhope Posts: 1,123member
    [quote]Originally posted by Mulattabianca:

    <strong>if it helps you ... most italians dont know to use the conjunctive correctly.. in italian </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Most English speakers don't even know it has a subjunctive, let alone what it is or how to use it...

    English is a great mix though, given that it's been influenced by every nation that's ever bothered to invade England yet still not been afraid of incorporating whole swathes of concepts and words from other languages.

    It's very flexible, scaleable, subtle and powerful and I've spent a lot of my life learning to use it properly, which isn't as easy as it sounds.

    However, the very structure inherently makes it a complete bitch to learn, something I only came to appreciate when I started to learn German and French.

    Everyone who speaks English as a second language and does it well (as do most of the people I've conversed with over the Net) has my complete respect: I can just about get around in my second languages, let alone have a complex conversation...
  • Reply 7 of 7
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Very true about the subjunctive. It's the old, "I wish I was/were" conundrum.

    English is a real mish-mash of languages, hence the more exceptions than rules thing.
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