If The English Language Had Been Created As A School Assignment

June 8, 2015


First off, this is very thorough.  Great job – you’ve got everything here a language needs to be not only functional, but allow for nuance, tone, even connotation.

I do have some concerns, though.

funny-pictures-german-language-meme-5The first is there seem to be some important words missing.  Example: There’s an entire entertainment industry built off of enjoying other people’s misfortune and humiliation, yet there’s no word for it.  Hans, in the language he wrote, came up with “Schadenfreude.” Yes, I know the words and spelling in Hans’ language are kind of over the top and occasionally hilarious, but he has words for everything.

Second, is that your language seems a little scattershot with the rules. To be honest, most of them.  It seems like there are very few rules without exceptions. Example: this “i before e” thing.  “I before e” – clear enough; “except after c” – why?  Is there some purpose?  So, fine you learn that – but then there are fourteen exceptions to this already unnecessarily complex rule?  Don’t just make things complicated to make it seem more sophisticated. It’s just confusing

Then there’s things like “affect” and “effect”. I can’t see a point to having two different words here.  Maybe you can explain the need?

Similarly, there’s food. You raise a cow, a pig, a chicken.  But when you eat them, you eat beef, pork, and poultry.  Why would you not just “eat cow” for dinner?

Which brings me directly to another point.  And I want to be clear: I’m not accusing you of anything.

English: The

English: The “KFC Bowls” of languages.

Beef, pork, and poultry are pretty clearly taken from Pierre’s project language, where the animals are “boeuf,” “porque,” and “poulet,” respectively.  And this isn’t isolated.  To be honest, much of what you’ve done here seems like you just took a bunch of elements of other students’ work and mashed it together.  Greek.  French.  Latin.  Norse.

Now, I’m not accusing you of plagiarism, per se.  It just seems like you could have spent a little more time constructing clear, consistent rules and a little less time picking this and that from the others.

Also – and your punctuation is fine, I guess – but how come Miguel is the only one who thought putting exclamation and question marks at the start of the sentence as well as at the end?

Anyway, an impressive effort, but needlessly confusing, and riddled with inconsistencies.  Perhaps a revision?

C / C-

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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26 Comments on “If The English Language Had Been Created As A School Assignment”

  1. minefake Says:

    First Comment!


  2. minefake Says:

    They don’t usually do first comments on wordpress, but they do on youtube. Sorry guys, I know I’m mixing cultures. Now, to actually read the post.


  3. minefake Says:

    Wait a second… isn’t this an older post from a year or so back? I remember reading this one a long time ago!


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      Wow, good memory – it’s actually from about 2 years ago. It’s the end of the school year and my brain is barely functioning and nothing creative was coming. It would also explain – after reading paper after paper after paper – why the horrors of the english language are on my mind.


  4. James Says:

    Even if it is two years old, it’s genius. Thanks for reposting it or I would never have got to read it.


  5. autumnashbough Says:

    I missed this one, so I was happy to see it again. Very funny. Especially the asides to Pierre and Miguel.


  6. BrainRants Says:

    I love that the Norman Conquest – from what would become France – made Britain speak English and gave us our awesome pig/pork, cow/beef conundrums. Yay English!


    • List of X Says:

      It’s almost like before the Normans invaded, the English had no idea that you could actually eat all these cows, pigs, and chickens.


      • Outlier Babe Says:

        Fawning Francophilia yielded poultry, beef, and pork;
        Without it, chicken, cows, and pigs would still be on your fork.

        Really enjoyed the post. Even though I never understood why there is all the confusion about affect and effect.


  7. List of X Says:

    I may have made the same comment a couple years ago too, but what’s the deal with everyone using the same characters? Let’s give some credit to Chang who made up more different characters than some languages have words.


  8. Lorna's Voice Says:

    And what’s up with the silent “K,” you know?


  9. Two Weevils Says:

    From Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” —
    “‘Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs?’ demanded Wamba.
    “‘Swine, fool, swine,’ said the herd; ‘every fool knows that.’“
    ‘And swine is good Saxon,’ said the jester; ‘but how call you the sow when she is flayed, and drawn, and quartered, and hung up by the heels, like a traitor?’“
    ‘Pork,’ answered the swine-herd. “
    ‘I am very glad every fool knows that too,’ said Wamba; ‘and pork, I think, is good Norman-French: and so when the brute lives, and is in the charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is carried to the castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha?’“‘


  10. Paul G. Eberlein Says:

    Ah, German…where every word looks like it has been constructed out of Lego bricks. On the upside, there are absolutely no silent letters; what you see is what you pronounce when speaking.


  11. pardonmyblogs Says:

    Very very hilarious… I think i read this post a couple years ago. As funny as the day i first read it lol. Please read my latest blog (https://pardonmyblogs.wordpress.com/2015/06/09/the-categories/) for a short and witty, comical outlook on the types of people you find clubbing on a night out… It would be much appreciated 🙂


  12. pegoleg Says:

    No teacher I ever had gave that much constructive criticism of MY homework. Must have been a doctoral thesis.


  13. awritershelper Says:

    I’m against using “dived” for what should clearly be “dove” (long on that “o”). Against as I just don’t believe in it. It’s against my American ear. That sounds strange unless you are a reader who reads aloud in their mind. Perhaps it’s just me. Therefore and anyway, your post–reused as it may be–is certainly well-liked by me 🙂


  14. JC Says:

    An angel got its wings! Love this. I haven’t had a KFC bowl in years. 🙂
    I just attempted to find an American name with e before i, and I failed.


  15. JM Stories Says:

    Thanks for the giggle and for the “god, how clever is that?” moment.


  16. Blathering Says:

    !!!?I’m with Miguel!!!!!



  1. If The English Language Had Been Created As A School Assignment | THS Economics - June 16, 2015

    […] If The English Language Had Been Created As A School Assignment. […]

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