The world’s common language
The English language is pretty well accepted as the world’s common language, but it still remains a puzzle to many, it is because of its complexity and richness that allows speakers to express themselves in so many ways. English is a Germanic language and has been developed and expanded upon, over many centuries, and indeed is still being added too each day, from the Grecian of Plato and Aristotle, Latin from the Romans to many of the European languages of today ,tinged with a splattering of Viking and Anglo-Saxon, the English
It is the official language in 53 countries including the European Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the United Nation, the North Atlantic treaty Organization, and the Organization of The Islamic Conference, interestingly England does not have a constitutionally defined official language.
It can be very confusing
Because of it richness , it can be very confusing to those trying to learn it, there are for example so many words spelt the same but have different meanings, even scholars of the mother tongue have problems with it on occasions. Take for example the word “close” it can mean to shut something, but it’s also the same way to spell “to be near,” as a writer using the English language I constantly have a brain storm, and start to question myself on if the word I have chosen is the correct spelling.
Sometimes an emphasis on a curtain part on a word can give it a different meaning, let’s take the word “Drawer” expressed with no emphasis, it takes on the meaning to describe a compartment, however put an emphasis on the ER and it’s a way of describing someone who draws. I sometime pity those who strive to learn our language; as it is it’s hard enough without having this additional predicament.
As school children we all learnt some of the words that might give us problem in later years, word like “Lead” to show the way, or that heavy metal, as we all answered “Present” during the mornings roll-call, it reminded us that the word could also mean a gift.
All together now
Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
This is a song sung by many English children; I mention it of course because of the word “Row” rhyme it with cow and it takes on a completely different meaning?
Other Countries using the English Language
The other countries that have taken our language for their own, is of course the USA and now with the use of computers and the Internet the whole thing becomes even more complex, as the Americans have taken some of our most common used words and spelt them differently, some might say for the better, but it’s still confusing to say the least. And if that was not enough, they have also used other words to describe common things “tap” becomes a faucet “pavement” becomes side walk and “sweet” is a candy.
Who knows over time with the influence of the computer in this ever shrinking world we may come to adopt many of these Americanisms
Try some of these
There are of course many more examples of words spelt the same but with different meanings, far too many for me to mention here, but I will leave you with a little collection.
- Convict, and to finish off…
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest word in the English dictionary I just added that to further confused you, and. So have fun learning our language you have my support and sympathy in the meantime, I bid you farewell with a quote from Mark Twain.
“The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” ~ Mark Twain.