English spelling is a mess because people are greedy, lazy snobs

The BBC has commissioned another article from me, and it’s just gone live today. It’s on BBC.com:

How the English language became such a mess

(It’s specifically about spelling, but the headline doesn’t say so.)

I’m told that people in Britain don’t have access to this BBC site because it’s intended for international audiences! But I’ve also been told that if you view it through Google Translate (tell it to translate from, I don’t know, Chinese or Russian or something like that; it will just show you the English as though it’s being quoted by Chinese or Russians), it will let you see it even if you’re in Britain.

4 responses to “English spelling is a mess because people are greedy, lazy snobs

  1. The article was amazing! I really enjoyed reading it😀

  2. Excellent article! Informative and entertaining. (I chose those words because they’re long but easy to spell.)

  3. I’m an flooding river of words myself, I just can’t stop them.

    The only job I’ve had was as a ghost writer for other artist.who couldn’t do the writing part. Free of charge.

    Just one thought on how the usages of languages never seem to have any true structure. A mess. Like my own mother tounge, norwegian. Where neologisms, immigrant slang and english words with norwegian twists and pre-fixes is constantly made up.

    I collect all this when I catch someone in using badly remakes of norwegian grammar, syntaks and vocabulary. It’s my hobby and also my personal experiments in the use of language. A language I master perfectly and that’s just boring to be so skilled and linguistically correct.

    In my texts I strech and manipulate norwegian in a way beyond it’s seemingli limit. Creating paradoxs in one word, Blend in words of nonsense in an intelligeble sentence, who can still be understood by the reader, Read into the context. I like making spelling and grammar mistakes based my emotional realtionship to the word.

    norway is an example. I drop the capitol “n” of personal and political reasons after the last election. And .I make sentences with words depending on how they sound togheter, not what litteral meaning it’s.

    I wrote this comment to present a different take on language and how it is used, not because I totally disagree with what you write. Take it as a creative and a different impuls to the topic you write about here..

    I’m sad by the way, because I can’t play around with english as I can with my mother tounge. Because here we learn english through litterature, education, and yes; BBC.. Boring.

    Ok, maybe I’ll come back with more opinions like this or the opposite or some intertings charing of how we relate to text and it’s composition

    I’m following your now, that’s for sure.

    Hilme / The Itchy Eye :)))))))

  4. “Our language is a museum of conquests.” Lovely writing. I always think it’s really interesting how after the Norman invasion, English has old Germanic-derived words for the animals (cow, pig) and French words for the meat (beef, pork); the peasants were tending the animals and the conquerors were enjoying the cuisine. Love this blog.

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