American English- The Contradictory Language
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American English- The Contradictory Language

what is the difference between american and british english why is american english difficult to learn


Have you ever considered the versatility of some of the words contained within the English language? It is perhaps the most versatile and difficult language to learn. It has been described by some as “A complete language consisting of nothing but contradictions, yet it functions as the worlds language “so what exactly is English? It is not as many have surmised the language of England. Although the version of English used in England is but a fraction. This article will focus on the version of English that is utilized in the United States.

English as it is used within the United States, is literally a hybrid of multiple languages, and as such is subject to much evolution and stagnation. Yes I realize that evolution and stagnation are a contradiction, but be patient I will explain this later. American English, as it is sometimes referred to, also has frequent changing of the way words are spelled and used. This creates much confusion in many parts of the world, as American English may spell, pronounce, and enunciate words that can differ greatly from forms of English in other parts of the world.

One reason why this confusion may exist is that the form of English the British follow, include strict forms of adherence that include spelling, vernacular, pronunciation, and inflection. It is possible that this is due to the relative similarities that all areas of England share. I can only speak for myself, but it seems to me that there is no difference in accent among the British. But to the British, there are very distinct differences in accent based on region. But to American English, the accents can vary so significantly, any person around the world can tell somebody from the Deep South, for example, Virginia as opposed to Texas vs. California. There are very obvious differences, although the words are the same, meanings can be different.

Many people that immigrate to the United States have a very difficult time in learning American English, precisely because of these contradictions. It is difficult to learn a language that has many words that sound exactly alike, but mean vastly different things, depending on the context as well as the spelling. American English also contains many words that sound the same, as well as are spelled the same, but mean vastly different things. One example of this would be the word THONG. 1) A type of foot covering similar to a flip flop 2) An ancient weapon similar to a sling shot 3) A type of undergarment used my men and women characterized by a slender piece of material that sits within the gluteus folds aka (butt floss). Now one example of a word that sounds the same but can mean different things depending on the context and spelling is the word sun/son. Although they sound exactly alike, the meanings are entirely different. When reading a sentence "The son in our galaxy shines brightly" to Americans this makes no sense, but to one learning the language, they may not know which word to use. another example may be "Our sun got all A's on his test". Again does this look right?

When one begins to learn any language it is interesting to note that the first words learned are the bad ones. It may be especially true in the case of American English. Again these words can mean many different things based off of the usage. One example may be the word BITCH. 1) A female dog in heat 2) A woman who is mean and nasty 3) A derogatory term directed towards both sexes used to indicate displeasure and irritation. Probably the foulest word in the American English dialect would be the word FUCK. It congers a vast array of emotions and visual connotations that is both foul and erotic simultaneously. . Its meaning can be as varies as the many ways in which it is used. 1) A term first derived in medieval Europe derived after the black plague in order to repopulate the country side. Legend has it that the word FUCK is the acronym for Fornication Under Command of the King. After the black plague, the population of Europe was decimated. So it kind of makes sense. But this term came under attack from the Church Of England. According to rumor, this term was deemed foul by the church because it encouraged copulation between unmarried persons. Again this is only rumor, but there seems to be at least a kernel of truth to it. 2) A term used when one is angry or frustrated 3) A question designed to illicit a physiologic act from another person (In this definition the word implies that one person desires intercourse with another).

So in order to understand why people who immigrate to this country have such a difficult time learning our language, stop and consider the rules to our language. We have many words that sound the same but mean different things, words that are spelled different but sound the same, words that sound and are spelled the same but mean different things , the list can go on and on. So be patient, and help them learn. You will be amazed at what you can and will learn about yourself, neighbors, and people around the world. The very act of kindness in helping one learn our language will open many doors of opportunity both locally and abroad.

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Comments (2)

No known language is as convoluted or contradictory as English.

Ranked #45 in Linguistics

My point