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Peculiarities of the english LanguageEnglish has grown up independently of the rest of Europe, it has changed from a European style language; Anglo Saxon; to the language we see and hear today.
All the main languages in Europe have grammatical gender, english lacks grammatical gender. It does not matter in english if “He, She or I go to the park” we do not have to change the structure of the sentence or the spelling of any of the associated words in the sentence to ensure that it makes sense.
The fact that in english we do not spell things phonetically is very peculiar as most languages are spoken and spelt the same. My favourite example of this is KNIGHTSBRIDGE, most of my eastern European friends pronounce this as K NIGITS BRIG DE. This causes no end of confusion.
When we count in english we have a very logical decimal way of counting. We say “twenty one”, where as in french you would say “twenty and one”. In french to say ninety you have to say four times twenty plus ten. french is not the only European language that uses this particular style.
english has some peculiarities which are very hard to teach to non english speaking people. We use certain combinations of words such as “Turn on” or “Turn off” when referring to everything from a light to the cooker or television. I know this confuses some of my eastern European friends who have a specific word for each action.
One thing that always confuses non english speaking smokers is when an Englishman asks for a light. In most countries around the world you ask for fire.
One of the most peculiar things is that the english language changes, dependant on where you go. The accents of english speaking people around the world differ a lot and the way they talk. Australians have a very informal way of speaking and greeting each other, the most famous being g’day, in America it is not uncommon to hear the greeting “what’s up”,
Unfortunately the spelling of everyday words has also been changed. The American way of spelling colour is of course color. Another one is Carburettor which is Carburetor in the US. I find this very confusing so a non native english speaker must find this mind blowing.
One thing that does stick out to me as a particular peculiarity of english is the Silent letter. Why is there a B in the word Dumb, or a D in Wednesday. These letters are not pronounced when speaking. We add an E to the end of words to make the preceding vowel sound longer. This I know to be very confusing to students. I hear a lot non native english speakers pronouncing E at the end of words when reading documents.
Unfortunately english is a language that has developed over many years and has never had a fully defined set of rules to govern its growth. It has adopted many words from many lands and cultures and these have found their way into the modern dictionary. The word Puckur, which is often heard uttered by a famous British chef, is a Hindustani word. The word Cushti is also used by the same chef and is a Romani word. Both these words are commonly used in the south east of england
In Summary english is peculiar because it does not conform to any or the gender rules used in other European languages, it is constantly growing, taking words from lots of different cultures, and not always using them in the correct manor. The spelling of a word can differ depending where you are in the world and some letters in words are never pronounced. The most peculiar thing of all is that we have the most logical language for counting there is. This may be the reason why Britain and her colonies have produced so many great engineers, mathematicians and accountants over the years.