English is such a difficult language that we have contests and award prizes to those who can spell words right. They don’t do that in languages where spelling follows rules. English is so weird that you might read a certain word for years and years, then find out it isn’t pronounced like you thought it was in your head. How did English get this way? As the language evolved, we imported words from other languages, and either changed them to conform with English rules, or we changed the rules to accommodate the new words. And there were movements, like typesetters who wanted to simplify things, that changed some words but not others. The Great Vowel Shift meant that ducks stopped saying “queck” and started saying “quack.” Yeah, it’s a mess. Dr. Erica Brozovsky tells us a bit of the history that got English where it is now. And yes, it is still changing.(via Geeks Are Sexy)
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