January 6, 2010

The English Language Sucks - Part 1

I don't know what to do with the English language anymore. I used to not care. It used to be a subject that I would just "get through". But recently, it has become rather frustrating teaching my 4-year-old the ways of this crazy dialect. My biggest problem, why can we not match spelling with phonetics? Remember, I'm trying to teach my son how to spell words and the way we have always been taught is, what...."Sound it out". That persuasion does not hold true for so many words. Let me give you a few examples...

"Jet" is pronounced "jet", right? "Grape" is pronounced "gray'p", right?

So should the word GIANT be spelled JIANTE?
What about GIRAFFE, should it be spelled JERAFF?
GERMANY should be spelled JERMANEE?
FORGE should be spelled FORJ?

I'm geerd twoward fixing problims, but this won I gust done't know what to do with it.



  1. Hey, I have real answers to this one! Only I don't know if you meant it rhetorical. But since I can't resist:

    Fonettik spelling iz gude for yer yung sun.

    AND over 90% (and I think it's closer to 95%) of our English words DO follow the rules! The problem is, WE just don't know many of the rules.

    I know those too ;), but he doesn't need 'em yet, just the basic individual letter sounds will work for now.

    P.S. It's okay if he's NOT reading and writing before kindergarten, so you don't have to write off your ol' English language anyway.

  2. Were you a cheerleader in highschool? Love the peptalk. My frustration is not being able to explain the "why is it spelled that way" question to the 4-year-old.

  3. Why no, I was not a cheerleader, but a book nerd... I expected you to get that out of my comment more than the peptalk :)

    But I DID miss your point. My response to this one is DON'T tell him to spell it the right way. Instead, encourage that phonetic spelling during this stage, to try to write it the way he hears it, without your editing pen.

    As he reads more he'll notice he's wrong, and you'll probably have to address it more then, to which your response could be "Why that word doesn't follow the rules. It's an outlaw!" He'll get used to the idea that some words are just rule-breakers, like some kids :).

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