To Murder A Language

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To murder a language – is to speak a language very badly, making many mistakes with grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. In plain English “To murder a language” is to spoil a language by lack of skill or knowledge.

Bad grammar and spelling can really get on everyone’s nerves, but I am not going to say I don’t fall victim to some mistakes. I am sure that you all have read through tons of my grammar and spelling mistakes and I am sorry. I try to write without error, but sometimes I am not that smart.

Nearly everyone makes grammatical mistakes from time to time. After all, the English language is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn and master. Good grammar helps to ensure that our thoughts and opinions are being expressed completely, clearly, and concisely.

How we express ourselves and how our language is structured affects how we interpret and see the world. I am trying to keep my writing style based on the KISS principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid! I write to be understood, not to impress! I am doing a heroic effort not to murder Her Majesty’s English language.

To murder a language

The bad news is that, I think I will keep murdering the English language unless I stope writing and using it. The good news is that there’s no murder, there is no killing involved, just a messy grammar rules and words. Thank goodness! You don’t need to call the police but I hope you’ll keep the record of the ‘skulls’ of those murdered words and point them out to me. I don’t want to be like this man on the tweet below who was convicted of murdering the English language, and was sentenced to death by elocution!

But wait, native English speakers murder their mother tongue too! The proof is, My Fair Lady, a musical version of George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion. Henry Higgins, referring to Eliza Doolittle’s poor grammar and pronunciation – the song is entitled: Why Can’t the English?
 
Henry Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she ever uttered.
By law she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.
 
Eliza Aaoooww! Henry imitating her Aaoooww!
Heaven’s! What a noise!
This is what the British population,
Calls an elementary education. Pickering Oh,
 
Counsel, I think you picked a poor example. Henry Did I?
Hear them down in Soho square,
Dropping “h’s” everywhere.
Speaking English anyway they like.
 
You sir, did you go to school?
Man Wadaya tike me for, a fool?
Henry No one taught him ‘take’ instead of ‘tike!
Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?
 
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique. If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!
 
Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I’d rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn Just like this one!
 
Eliza Garn! Henry I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?
It’s “Aoooow” and “Garn” that keep her in her place.
Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.
Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?
 
This verbal class distinction by now should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir, Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too.
An Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him,
 
The moment he talks he makes some other
Englishman despise him.
One common language I’m afraid we’ll never get.
Oh, why can’t the English learn to set
 
A good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely
 
Disappears. In America, they haven’t used it for years!
Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks have taught their
Greek. In France every Frenchman knows
 
His language fro “A” to “Zed”
The French never care what they do, actually,
As long as they pronounce in properly.
Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning.
 
And Hebrews learn it backwards,
Which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English you’re regarded as a freak.
Why can’t the English,
 
Why can’t the English learn to speak?





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6 thoughts on “To Murder A Language

    1. Oxford Junior Post author

      Your comment just made my day 🙂 I think someone’s going to shoot us just to stop us from murdering their language! So be careful, grammar nazis are watching!

      Reply
  1. House of Heart

    I watched My Fair lady just last night on TCM. Generally I despise musicals but love this one. Audrey Hepburn did a lovely job of murdering the English language as many if our rural southerners do here. Then there was the time our school board considered making Ebonics a real thing.

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