1. It’s Not Phonetic
This is the one major irritation from people who are native Spanish or Japanese speakers. And the bane of English teachers worldwide. Pronunciation is impossible
There is a poem called Chaos (appropriate) by Gerard Noist Trenite which begins,
“Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.”
And as one blogger put it, “And the ‘more-educated-than-thou’ clans’ insistence that only their version of the pronunciation is accurate.”
2. How Fast Things Change
This one really annoyed a few English language learners who were older when they started learning. This Mental Floss article looks at four things changing in English right now. They’re happening so quietly that you probably didn’t even notice.
But English is a language that is so vast and has influences from so many corners of the globe that things change constantly — and some things change in one place and not another…further confusing language learners.
In English, you should be able to write fish like this: “Ghoti” That’s a famous quote from George Bernard Shaw, who wrote that the “gh” from “enough”, the “o” from “women” and the “ti” from “nation” equal, well “fish”.
So how do we ever figure out English spelling?
4. Irregular Everything
Most languages (all other languages?) have had fewer influences than English has. That makes English particularly rich and beautiful, but it can also make English particularly annoying. Verbs are horribly irregular, so much so that it seems silly to make anyone try to remember rules about them. You’ll just end up memorizing a list of exceptions anyway.
5. Weird Plurals
Two separate sources mentioned English plurals as being really annoying. It’s true: If the plural of foot is feet, why isn’t the plural of boot, beet? I certainly can’t tell you the answer. Except, I guess, that English is annoying!
So those are the 5 most annoying things about English. Annoying but lovable. What is the most annoying thing about English for you?