The Bastardization of the English Language

The English language is difficult to learn



 

Using words properly. Well-crafted syntax. Exceptional writing.

Somewhere along the way we have lost our way where these communication rules are concerned. 

I am, in no way what I would call, a great writer. I have forgotten many of the rules of grammar and proper usage of words that were beaten into my brain in the 1960s. Spelling, however, was not much of an issue for me. 

I, like so many others, now struggle with the specifics of past tense and past participles of the verbs, lay and lie. I have committed the egregious sin of using “less than” when it should have been “fewer.”

At the age of 60, I continue to recite (though silently), “i before e, except after c” when writing the word, receive. Even though I learned to spell well, the word that cost me the first place ribbon in the regional spelling bee was friend. I was six years old.

The English language is difficult enough for those of us born in an English-speaking country. I feel compassion (or pity?) for those who are learning English as their second language. Not only are the rules in place, there are the many exceptions to the rules. Throw idioms and colloquialisms into the language, and it becomes nearly impossible to learn.

 

English continues to evolve

 

I have lived for six decades speaking English.  Yet today, I do not always understand what is being said. At other times, I simply want to cringe. 

I never realized how much the English language has changed until I spoke in front of many a classroom filled with adult learners. I was often met with blank stares, instead of the participants following my directions.

I have also stepped around the corner after delivery of (what I thought was) a well-crafted speech to hear others say that they did not understand me because “she uses too big of words.”

Other words have become old-fashioned to use. They have been bastardized for today’s usage. Some will never make sense to me. 

  • I will always converse with you. I do not “conversate.”
  • I will be respectful, regardless of our differences.  “Irregardless” is a double-negative to me.
  • I would have used other examples, if I “would of” remembered them.

 

Language may evolve, but there are some corruptions that I will forever have a hard time believing makes us appear anything other than stupid or uneducated.

 

And I ain’t kidding, irregardless of what U B thinking when U hear him and I conversate.

 



Photo credit:  CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay






  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Eva James
      Eva James

      You do better than I do with a lot of the rules. My biggest mistakes are often in the spellings of the sound te same words like to too and two. I just get in a hurry and dont catch it a lot of times.

      1. Profile photo of Coral Levang
        Coral Levang Post author

        Thanks, Eva. I simply suffer from both of the aging diseases–CRS and CRAFT. 😉

    2. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
      Rex Trulove

      It isn’t just the rules of the language, either. Words that weren’t words in the 60’s are now accepted words. Some of that is natural, as a large number of school dropouts are now adults. A lot more comes from the number of people who no longer know that a telephone is a device that was invented to *talk* on. I no longer had any doubt of that when I watched my son texting back and forth with his wife…who was sitting across the room on the couch! Some of the mistakes are still mistakes and can make me cringe, though I do understand what is meant. (Note that I SAW my son texting is wife, I didn’t SEEN him texting her.) You also barely touched on how words are now often invented on a whim and seem to stick. Maybe that are gooder for sum folks then it is four a oltimer lek me.

    3. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
      Kyla Matton Osborne

      I wish we had a “Love” button, Coral! You know that I agree with you about the decline of our written language and I’m sure you knew I’d be amused at how you discussed it here 😀

      1. Profile photo of Coral Levang
        Coral Levang Post author

        Even as I reread this, I see where I will have to come back and edit it later! LOL

      2. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne

        Luckily, you have that option here on BlogBourne! But with the intentional grammatical errors at the end of the post, any other small issue is likely to go unnoticed 😛

    4. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
      Gil Camporazo

      “Irregardless” is what I often heard among professionals here. “Ir” connotes a negative idea and as what you said, “bastardized” by adding “less” to the word. Actually, I laughed after reading the quotation as the concluding statement. By the way, the English language is our second language and it is the medium of classroom instructions. Filipinos are great writers, eloquent speakers.

      1. Profile photo of Coral Levang
        Coral Levang Post author

        Having lived in Guam, Hawaii, and being stationed with many Filipinos, I know just how true your statement is!

      2. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
        Gil Camporazo

        We have the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos. He spoke before the Americans during the term of USA President Ronald Reagan. He delivered his speech without a note or a prompter. He did it spontaneously. President Marcos is not only an eloquent speaker, but he is also a great writer and a debater in his time.

        If you want to see and listen to how President Marcos speaks, check it on the YouTube.

      3. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        @nakitakona13, the biggest complaint I hear about English usage by people who don’t speak English as a first language is that it is often very choppy. The people who complain often don’t realize that quite often, native English speakers speak the language more poorly. Also, some schools in the Philippines teach a sort of pidgin English and that is part of what makes it sound choppy to the ear of a Brit or American. Just an example, this would be choppy: “What you have to do to get there?” Why is it choppy? It lacks the word “do” between ‘What’ and ‘you’, and should read “What do you have to do to get there?”

        As I mentioned, there are a lot of Americans and Brits who speak only English and who make worse mistakes. In fact, virtually every English speaker I know has some speech habits that are incorrect and I’m certain that I do. I also know of three people right here in town that pronounce the word “often” as “off ten”. The “t” should be silent, but you’d never know it from lisTENing to them. lol

        My grandfather, as much as I loved him, never said, “Motor”, as in the engine of a car. He always pronounced it “moto”, without the r at the end. I have no idea where he picked that up.

      4. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
        Gil Camporazo

        You’re right in your observation how some of the Filipino spoke choppy English. Conversational English has a big difference than in written English.

        I don’t know if this is funny. A dropout grader mayor in one of the municipalities in our country was inviting everyone in the plaza after he crowned the King and the Queen of their festival. He said and I quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, I invitation you all to eat my house. I killed 20 chickens, 10 are boys and 10 are girls.”

        The mayor left the plaza and passed by the program announcer standing at the side of the stage. He grabbed the microphone and said, “we thank the mayor who just passed away for his presence and generosity.”

      5. Profile photo of Kyla Matton Osborne
        Kyla Matton Osborne

        @rextrulove My father-in-law always said “sangwich” instead of “sandwich.” And many people in the Montreal area pronounce the name of the letter “h” so it sounds like Anne Heche’s surname. Over time, such quirks often become part of the local dialect and are accepted by lexicologists and linguists as a form of regional diversity rather than as an error.

        Sadly, sometimes words like “flammable” become the standard because too many English speakers have not been taught the meaning of prefixes and suffixes, nor do they understand what the roots of our English words mean. Over time, it becomes acceptable to say that someone “snuck” into a room when no one was looking, or that a criminal was “hung” by the neck until dead.

      6. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        Hahaha…@nakitakona13, that’s funny! I know that a lot of Filipinos have a lot of problems with English slang, too. Then again, I sometimes do, as well. The choppy language also isn’t just from Filipinos, either. It is common with almost everyone who has English as a second language. My son-in-law is Guatemalan and his native language is Spanish. He still sometimes has choppy speech, though he’s getting much better because of 4 years of being married to my daughter (who, incidentally, has a college degree in English). He is still quite understandable, unless he gets excited. When he gets excited, his accent gets so thick that it is hard to understand him. That is the accent rather than the words and structure, though.

      7. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        Kyla, there is also the issue of pronunciation. The correct way to pronounce something in one place isn’t necessarily the correct way to pronounce it in another. People in Oregon pronounce the name of the state “Orygun”. When I lived there, I’d come into contact with visitors from the eastern US who usually pronounced it “Oragone”. The flop side is that we pronounce New Orleans “new or-lee-ins”. People there often call it “nor-lins”. I’ve also heard it pronounced “new Or Leens”.

        I have no doubt that you know what I’m talking about. Most people her refer to “Kwuh-beck” rather that “Kbeck” (Quebec).

        I haven’t even touched on some of the Native American names. I’m Cherokee and still have trouble with some of the names. Of course, I have some issues with French names, too. Lake Pend O’reille in Idaho, for instance, is *not* pronounced like it is spelled. It is Lake Pond-er-aye. 😀

      8. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
        Gil Camporazo

        @rextrulove, No habla español for no estudiar en la casa. That is a Spanish statement. While studying in college, I also write in Spanish for I am interested to apply what I learned from our Spanish class. I have published a couple of articles in Spanish and also a poem.

      9. Profile photo of Rex Trulove
        Rex Trulove

        Nunca me enseñaron a español y conocer un poco. I only took about 6 months of Spanish and don’t remember very much of what I learned. But then, I was only 10 years old at the time. 😀

      10. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
        Gil Camporazo

        Muchos gracias Senior. You haven’t practice your Spanish and you know a little. I hear from the side of the linguist that Spanish is a dead language so as with Latin. But it is easy to learn as long as you know the properly conjugation of the verb for every person in the language.

    5. Profile photo of Andria Perry
      Andria Perry

      I am one of those school drop outs that taught myself to… well everything. Although I love to write I hated English class in school and loved Math and Science instead so I have a wonderful excuse for writing so badly 🙂

      I stumbled this article because I think its sick! ( sick mean cool 🙂

    6. Profile photo of Deb Jones
      Deb Jones

      I fondly remember diagramming sentences in English class during junior high. If I had to do it today, I’d be lost after finding the subject and predicate. Like many, there are more grammar rules that I’ve forgotten than those I remember.

      It’s easy to tell when you’re on social media as to who the younger folks are versus the more “seasoned” of us — their posts are peppered with abbreviations and emojis, while we seasoned folks tend to use real words.

      1. Profile photo of Coral Levang
        Coral Levang Post author

        I have to say that I have a new friend in Connecticut who is now 56 years of age. When we spoke on the phone the first two times he used the word as conversate. I didn’t say anything the first time. But the second time we spoke on the phone, I had to stop him because it was going to drive me crazy and I would not have ever talked to him again. Haha

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