I was trying to decide what to write about, and my sister said something that sparked an idea. It’s gonna sound weird out of context, but the sentence itself was: “…hit me with a tennis.” I think she was talking about how she was afraid she was going to get hit with a tennis racket, but misspoke and just said “tennis”. As she said that, I thought, “Wow, the English language is annoying.” So, enjoy my rant about the English language. (Did you like my awful title? I hope you did, I laughed at that for like five minutes.)
I’m first going to discuss the subject that bothers me the most: spelling rules. Really this is half of what made me want to write this. I hate the “i before e, except after c” rule. That’s like, never true. Okay, it probably is but there are plenty of exceptions. The words “their” and “weird” are the two exceptions I think of, and they’re super common words. They kept me from knowing how to properly spell for ALL OF MY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAREER. I would get C’s in all of my English subjects, right up until high school started, because I couldn’t spell to save my life. Because this “i before e” nonsense doesn’t apply to “their” and I never trusted my own spelling it — the rule basically ruined my life. I might be being slightly dramatic (see, “be being” is awful, but I’m pretty sure it’s grammatically valid. Why? Just cause is why; deal with it) but this rule honestly bothers me this much.
Now this is a topic that my sister is much more interested in than myself, but I may as well complain about it on her behalf. The “Ox” in the title stands for Oxford comma. It’s the optional comma before the “and” in a list. Now, I find using the Oxford comma in a list of two to be unnecessary. Saying “cheese and hats” seems more simple and just as understandable as “cheese, and hats.” In lists of three or more is where my sister gets heated about this. If one were to write, “my lemons, Sue and Patricia” without the Oxford comma, then they would be saying they named their lemons Sue and Patricia. If they write “my lemons, Sue, and Patricia” then the lemons, Sue, and Patricia are all separate entities that are together in a list. The Oxford comma increases clarity and does not leave someone bewildered as to how the lemons’ names were chosen. Maybe they are Sam and Patrick; do not assume the lemons’ genders.
Finally, oxymorons. Now, I personally enjoy using these because I think they spice up your writing, but they’re ridiculous nonetheless. These are contradictory terms, like jumbo shrimp. A bunch of stuff we say are actually oxymorons: deafening silence, sweet agony, walking dead, only choice, etc. The Great Depression is an oxymoron. An entire gosh diddly darn era of our history is a gosh diddly dang oxymoron. That’s ridiculous, they make zero sense unless you understand the language. I’m sure if you asked a person who just learned the basics of English “don’t you think that person is pretty ugly,” they’d be super confused and want to cry.
Still don’t care that English is all sorts of confusing? Just look at this picture and you’ll be mad. I guarantee it.
Good luck English majors. Power to ya for dealing with this nonsense.