Monday, October 13, 2008

The English language through the eyes of a first grader.

In first grade this year, Gavin’s language arts focus recently has been on writing sentences and paragraphs. I love the way he throws spelling and grammar caution to the wind and dives right in. He never asks me to spell anything for him and he just spells it out phonetically.

It makes me realize how messed up our language is. How is anyone supposed to remember all of our exceptions to the rules?

For instance:

Why can we not have 10 vowels instead of 5? This way there would not be any guessing as to whether or not the long or short sound is used and it would make the silent “e” unnecessary. “e” has enough use anyway. Also, there is no use to have 'y' act as a vowel. It has a use already. It doesn’t need dual purpose.

For that matter, “c” has no business using both the hard and soft sounds. We could then eliminate k from the alphabet and we already have “s.” Same things with “g.” We already have a “j.” Where do "c "and "g" get off anyway thinking they need to exert their power over letters that already serve their purpose?

With the new vowel introductions, we would no longer have a need to spell certain vowel sounds with two vowels like “chain” or “weak” It would simply be the new vowel that always has the long A or long E sound.

And how am I supposed to explain to my child that one is different from won yet pronounced the same? and we haven't even ventured into "dear" and "deer" or "their," "there" and "they're." God help me.

And why SHOULDN’T he keep spelling “was” as “wuz”? It makes a lot more sense.

I seriously think we should turn the English language over to the first graders and let them re-develop it.



  1. I think we should do away with all silent letters. What's the point, anyway?

  2. I can't even imagine learning how to speak English if it were not my first language.

    But, isn't it so cool watching Gavin immerse himself in language? I know that when it happened to Sarah & RJ, I was just amazed!

  3. Yep. I'm in complete agreement. Let me re-phrase that - Yup, Im inn compleat augreemnt.

  4. Ain't it da troot?
    English is the most difficult language to learn, as a second language (I've heard). We have so many rules!

  5. Just wait till he starts texting! Then it is really going to get all messed up! :)

    Funny post Angie, but so so true!

  6. Oh, AMEN. Trying to explain all the rules and exceptions makes me crazy.

  7. Fore shur! That's why many adults are still having a hard time figuring it out...

  8. But then I would have to earn another degree...and frankly, I'm t-i-r-e-d.

  9. LOL! It is amazing that any of us ever learned this crazy language. I really feel for people who didn't grow up here. Love the suggestions... Maybe we should start a grassroots campaign to implement them!

  10. I get so frustrated trying to teach it to the girls. You give them a hard and fast rule to spell by and then in the next breath you're telling them, "Well, there are exceptions like this or that..." I don't know how I ever learned it, but I guess if we did it, they will too - someday!