5 Most Annoying Things About the English Language

Since the English language is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, you would think that it’s extremely easy to learn. But no! There are countless things which can be so confusing if you are not a native speaker. Or even if you are. We have compiled a list of the most annoying things about the English language which just make our blood boil!

 

  1. Silent letters

From time to time, an English word will pop up which will have  a silent letter, like comb, knife or receipt. You might think that the only reason for it is so that English teachers can make our lives difficult. But there’s actually a better explanation for that. Way back when scholars were trying to standardize the English language, some people who were putting together dictionaries decided it would be best to remind people that some words evolved from the sophisticated Latin (because that’s a language that will never die, right?). Therefore, they thought that it would be an excellent idea that the word is spelled “receipt” instead of “receit”, so that people know it comes from Latin “recepta”. The same thing happened with debt or doubt. And then they probably laughed for decades at all the people having trouble with it.

Well-deserved place on our list of the most annoying things about the English language.

 

  1. Laugh, cough, dough

Some English words are spelled the way they are for no good reason. A particularly interesting problem arises when we encounter a word ending in -ugh. There are actually at least six ways of pronouncing that sound. An extremely short and simplified explanation is that words (spelling or pronunciation, or both) change. This is often the case with -ugh words; they originated from different languages and evolved over time. And today we have sentences like this: “Though the tough cough and hiccough plough him through…” where not one word rhymes, making our lives so easy. Not!

 

  1. Prepositions

Who would have thought that such small words can be so mischievous? And it’s funny how sometimes they make absolutely no sense. For example, we get on a bus, but get  in a car. Why?

We also say:
– He went home.

But:
– He went to  his home.

Simply saying “he went to home” is wrong. Go figure.

There is an actual explanation for this. In the first sentence, “home” is used as a direction (adverb), while the second “home” is a thing, a location (noun). The incorrect way of saying it uses “home” as a noun as well, which must have an article (a/the) or another determiner (my/hers/this). But where’s the fun in explaining everything? It’s much easier to complain.

Nevertheless, prepositions really are one of the most annoying things about the English language.

 

  1. The word “rural”

The person who invented the word “rural” is a horrible human being.

And the more you say it out loud, the more you sound like an idiot. Thanks, English!

 

  1. Wednesday

Do we even have to say it? What’s the deal with the spelling of “Wednesday”? We just can’t wrap our minds around it!

 

There you have it. Those are some of the most annoying things about the English language, but there are many other out there.  Feel free to share with us the things that irritate you the most about this language, we are more than happy to hear it.

Mateja Ilišin

Mateja is a holder of a Master's degree in the English language and literature and Pedagogy. She specialized in translation and she translates, localizes and proofreads texts in Sinonim. She is a big fan of music and books, and she enjoys quality movies and good company.

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