When I was learning to read and write the English language was an overwhelming monster with no rules or boundaries. I remember my dyslexia started from the confusion created by the inconsistencies. I wanted to understand how the language worked.
In this section I’m going to try to answer the question, why is English so stupid? Do the linguistic inconsistencies contribute to the cause of dyslexia?
Why does it work like that?
When I was at school I wanted to know why? Why does it work like that? What is the point of having a language with more than one way of spelling each sound? I never got a clear answer from any of my teachers.
I thought I was stupid and I just simply couldn’t learn. These kinds of ideas can really put a person off their education. Click here if dyslexia has ever made you feel stupid.
Why is the English language so stupid?
England has been invaded and conquered many times. The Romans, Saxons, Normans etc. all succeeded. This has had a big effect on the language.
Various civilizations have changed it and added new words. What we end up with is a language made up of lots of different bits. Similar to an old ball of play dough with all the different colours lump together.
Why don’t we change the language to make it easier to learn?
You may be thinking a large part of dyslexia is down to the English language being so dumb and inconsistent. Well you’d be right it is a large factor. Dyslexia is much more common in England than Japan. In Japan or china one symbol means one thing, for example the way we have £ sign to mean pound.
I guess now, you may be thinking why don’t we change our language to something easier for everybody to learn?
The simple answer is no one person has the power to change a language. Only a whole civilization can do it over hundreds of years. Politicians would never try to standardise it; the cost involved would be ridiculous.
Another problem is a large portion of the world also uses one form of English or another. Simply put it just can’t be done.
English isn’t that big or scary, and it can be controlled:
The English language, however, is not as big and out of control as I first thought. There are only 44 phonic sounds in the whole language. Click here for more information about phonics.
The problem is there are more than 44 sounds to letter combinations. There are about 150 which is not a lot really. Especially when reading and writing is something we do every day.
Therefore to control the English Language you need:
The English language has been put together over thousands of years by various civilizations. This is why it’s a strange mongrel language but this is what gives it so much of its character.
The linguistic inconsistencies do make it harder for dyslexic people. However what is life without challenges.
It would also be almost impossible to change it to something easier. A language is a living thing it evolves over time. No one person has the power to change it all at once.
By using the phonic alphabetic code I now understand how English is structured. It doesn’t seem like a monster any more. Click here to find out about more possible causes of dyslexia.