Confessions of the English language

My hat offI am not a celebrity, but I have celebrity status. The difference between me and the Hollywood-type is that I am a dream that does not go away when the film is no longer on the screen or when another younger and more good-looking type comes on the scene. I know, rumours say that I am not as beautiful as I used to be. When Shakespeare was around, my reputation was less tarnished. Today, I am in everyone’s mouths! But let’s look at the bright side: I am pretty inclusive. Everyone is allowed to bring their contribution; not everyone succeeds, but no one is rejected.

English for all

Each group has their say – regardless of their colour, age, sexual orientation, money in the bank or belief. If there is a generous and loving creature, that is me. No wonder my appeal is so irresistible. Millions of people across the globe even say they want to ‘THINK’ in English. I have been part of people’s minds for centuries.

Aprenda inglês com as técnicas de quem já passou pelo processo. Experimente Grátis por 30 dias o Curso de Inglês do English Experts 3.0.

I am so famous that I could easily be named Englishelson Mandela; so powerful that I could be Englishrack Obama; so smart that Englishill Gates would not be a bad name choice; but as you must know, there is no match for me. All these characters came after me and I will be sticking around long after they have gone.

I am also a kind of hero. Yeah, I have saved many from a monolingual type of life. Yet, others are so happy only having me that they do not bother learning other languages. It can be pretty exhaustive. I end up being abused and taken for granted, or totally disregarded. Some also become very demanding and obsessed – they just want me to obey their linguistic delirium. It’s not easy.

She’s got some power!

I am not the confrontational type, you see, which makes me quite vulnerable at times. Thanks to my iron partner – Grammareth Thatcher – I have been spared of more abuse. She makes my life more organised and, at least in writing, she has been quite helpful.

G – as I like to call Grammarreth – is a strong type. She has to deal with variation and changes and still keep some order in whatever happens to me. My hat is off to her. Although she can be bossy and stubborn, a bit of a pig-head, sooner or later she has to bow down to the majority and accept the changes she cannot control. In the end, things fall into place (or go to the space!).

Many learners are very dependent on her, which is quite understandable as teachers have to tell students the ‘norm’. A great bond is created between them and G. She becomes a mum to them. Some never grow up and think that a language is all about knowing G. Others mature quickly and stretch their wings to explore more intimacy with me, not relying too much on G.

Some strict grammarians can make things awkward for G too. They turn learners and teachers alike into fearful creatures. There is no forgiveness – you have it all or you are miles away from writing a brief note in English. ‘Gimme’ a break!

No wonder, you will think, I hang out with two good buddies to keep some sanity. I really enjoy my time with Idiomar Sharif and Slang Lee. They remind me how colourful and attractive I am; how fun and wild too. However, not all of our conversations are healthy. Last time we went out, we gossiped a bit about some new loan words. Not nice, I know.

Free as a bird

It is amazing that although there is no association to regulate me, I am not lost. In fact, I am as free as a bird. In any part of the world, I can be found and everyone can make use of me to communicate. For many, I am a kind of trophy, a powerful tool among others who do not have me. I am telling you, I am the best thing since sliced bread. Oops, I am afraid sliced bread came after me. Oh, how unique am I!

Seriously now, one thing that bothers me extremely is this claim that I am very difficult. Come on! You have to do your part, my dear. I do not remember anyone who did not succeed by doing so. I have millions of cases to tell of speakers around the world who ‘got’ me without leaving their non-English speaking countries.

Many people say that I am complicated too. Have they never heard of Basque? It is the most difficult language to acquire. There is no other language that shares similar traits with it and its structure is very peculiar. However, I also know of people who learned Basque late in life. Not as many as I know of people who have learned English, of course.

I am still the king, you see.

Expose yourself

You can find a bit of many other languages in me. Although I am not a romance language, Latin is all over me. Who can explain this situation? I am like a magnet; it is an attraction that I could never avoid and never tried to.

Come to me, you other languages, and I will make you even more famous by adopting some of your terms and making myself more colourful. It is a win-win situation; with me your destiny is the pop charts!

I am simple, but there are some things I have to get off my chest. I am not to be spoken the same way that I am written! This does not happen with other languages. Why should it happen to me? Why are some teachers and learners so afraid of being exposed to what I really am on a daily basis? Do not be amazed at bad grammar or listening to different accents. They are out there. If you ignore them or make little of them all the time you are being prejudiced. Not everyone uses language the same way. Exposure is essential. I am not encouraging you to use everything either. Do not get me wrong, please! I am only encouraging less paranoia.

Having said that, you should be less tormented with being perfect and afraid of ‘practising me’.
Let your guard off. Let’s just have some fun.

Love,

Your beloved English

PS: Dear readers, You can share these ‘confessions’ as much as you want. Just do not forget to mention the source (EE) and the author (see below). Thank you.

Aprenda mais

Gostou desse artigo? Conheça o Curso de inglês English Experts e descubra como você pode turbinar o seu inglês.

Receba mais dicas de inglês como esta por E-mail, Twitter, RSS feed ou Facebook.

32.jpg

Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

32 comentários

  • 21/03/13  
    Lucia diz: 1

    wowww Very nice text. Thanks a lot Erica for share it to us

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Lucia!

  • 21/03/13  
    Douglas diz: 2

    Muito interessante esse ”desabafo” da língua inglesa :)
    A autora e a equipe do English Experts como um todo está de parabéns.
    Aquela mulher na foto é a autora? muito bonita.

    • 22/03/13  
      Alessandro Brandão diz:

      Oi Douglas,

      A foto da autora está no final do artigo, muito mais bonita do que a da foto acima ;-)

      Abraço,

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Obrigada, Douglas! Concordo com o Alessandro no comentario abaixo! :-)

  • 22/03/13  
    Guilherme diz: 3

    Love ya, my beloved English! I cannot live without you!

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Great, Guilherme, let’s just have some fun! :-)

  • 22/03/13  
    Prana-vallabha Devi Dasi diz: 4

    GREAT!!!!

  • 22/03/13  
    Arthur diz: 5

    Wow! Nice site, and nice text. I learn english since i was 5 years old, but i need somewhere to practice more. Now, talking about your text, it’s very well written, and this motivates me to pursuit my happiness through the language mastery.

    All the best!

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      I wish you all the best too, Arthur. May you always feel very encouraged and enjoy learning. :-)

  • 22/03/13  
    Aluísio diz: 6

    O confesso não mencionou quantas pessoas morreram de raiva só por tentar entendê-lo. Omitiu, outrossim, talvez, alguns pecados passíveis de penitência, como não ter enxugado a ortografia, com fez o português. Por outro lado, exibiu laivos de narcisismo… Mas é um vilão simpático.

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Concordo com voce sobre algumas omissoes, Aluisio, mas e so uma compilacao do diario do confesso. Quem sabe ele se abre mais por aqui. Sim, bota simpatico nisso, mas o ingles esta mais para mocinho do que para vilao. :-)

  • 22/03/13  
    Susy B Garbelotti diz: 7

    Erica… You are the one that came to bring some fun when reading in English…. At least I know that my classes will the thrilled and really interested in it. Thank you very much! Wanna see more! :>:> Susy

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Susy! It’s great to hear that. Fun has to be an important element when you’re learning. After using the article let us know how your students got on. :-)

  • 23/03/13  
    JSFerrreira diz: 8

    This text is very good!!!!

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, JSFerreira! :-)

  • 24/03/13  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 9

    Congrats, Érica! You must have put great effort in writing such a text! And it came out really good!

    • 24/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, João. It was a great pleasure to write this piece. Yes, it took me some weeks to send it to EE, but I also think it came out great. :-)

  • 25/03/13  
    mary diz: 10

    I enjoy this text a lot!
    thank u

    • 26/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Mary. Glad to know that. :-)

  • 26/03/13  
    Nancy diz: 11

    Congratulations for excellent text. I enjoy very much!
    Thanks.

    • 26/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Nancy. :-)

  • 26/03/13  
    Clemeilda diz: 12

    I loved this text and shared with a freinds of mine..tks

    • 27/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks for sharing it, Clemeilda. The English language says ‘thank you’ too. :-)

  • 28/03/13  
    Pedro Alexandre diz: 13

    Thanks for the nice, colorful and creative post. Your English writing rocks.

    • 28/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thank you, Pedro. So lovely to have this feedback! :-)

  • 28/03/13  
    Jackie Arantes diz: 14

    Way to go Erica! I loved your text. It’s made learning English so uncomplicated! Such a pity the people who think otherwise won’t be able to read it. Going to spread it among my friends and wont forget to give your credit!

    • 30/03/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, Jackie! It’s great to know that the word is being spread around. That’s the idea – to uncomplicate English and make it more accessible.This way more and more people will take a chance and read texts like this one. Thanks for the credit! :-)

  • 01/04/13  
    Sandra diz: 15

    Hi Erica, congratulations and thanks for this great text.

    • 01/04/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Sandra. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  • 04/04/13  
    Mario Moraes diz: 16

    Erica, WOW!!! You said it all! I will have that forwarded (source and author mentioned of course …) to all my students and those who see this language as a hard one to be learnt. Congrats!

    • 04/04/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks, Mario. It’s so good to receive feedback and know that the text is circulating. :-)