Coppell Observer: An ode to the English language


Josh Campbell

The English language is far from being perfect with strange oddities and nuances littered throughout the dialect. The Sidekick designer Srihari Yechangunja writes an ode to the English languages and all of its quirks.

Srihari Yechangunja, Staff Designer

Today, I shall be examining the English language
With no other languages I shall gauge
Though sometimes words may not rhyme well
I’ll try not to do that as much as possi-bell
I do warn you, yes, this will be a tad bit long
But that’s how you know that English is just wrong


Let us begin with the base of every word
Letters are what I’m talking about, you bird
Sure, they may seem straightforward
So why then is a whole ode to it earned?
I’ll tell you why: it’s because they’re absurd
People will be confused out of the world


So how shall I demonstrate this to you, my concernèd?
Well, just take a look at “The Worst Alphabet”
The underlined letters are the ones that are confusing
So, try not to lose any brain cells when you try to use ‘em
The topics covered in the follow stanza have no connection
Thus, don’t look for a plot too much, just read and enjoy a confection


Walk down an aisle in the store to pick up a knickknack
Wish I could pay with a halfpenny but then I’d have to go way back
In time to when England was forming its parliament
Well, history isn’t my strong suit, I prob’ly meant
That chemistry is more of what I excelled at, learning about calcium
And yttrium and bdellium and… marijuana? Nope, that isn’t one, stupid cranium
Economics was cool subject, that was one I could bear
I was not too bored when I was learning about laissez-faire
But then again, now that I think about it a little more, though
I realize that all my knowledge from school is all faux
So I’ll drop out and run off, with no phone
Though I still want to contact my family, I don’t want to be alone
I’ll look for an envelope somewhere but it’s a task that I’ll condemn
Well, I was wrong, that task wasn’t really that annoying
On the contrary, the Mr. and Mrs., my parents, say that I can be gnawing
I stumbled across a giant island on my long, aimless journey
The only thing I found there was an opossum, and then I was knocked out by a tsunami
When I woke up I forgot all of the mnemonics in my head
I looked around, and a guy walked up to me; introduced himself as Colonel Ed
He said, “Hey, buddy, you’re in this town called Djakarta.
Here, the only way you can survive is to trade or barter.
The most valuable thing here is called lacquer,
So go and get yourself this sort of synonym of sandpaper”
And without a means to end it, I say
A word that makes no sense: covfefe.


The simple past tense is not like the past participle
Because it is used only to talk about a completed action, in principle
But there are so many times you find an irregular term
That the rule itself becomes the exception, that’s confirmed


So, what kind of words am I talking about, you ask?
Sure, there are simple ones like “masked” is to “mask”
Or for “graduate” you get “graduated”
But those regular ones, pshh, they’re overrated
I live for the ones that make zero sense as to why they’re so
Like how “fall” forms “fell”? And how “went” comes from “go”?
Now those are some of the less absurd ones, believe it or not
Because there are verbs like “seek” that become “sought”?!
As “think” becomes “thought,” “buy” becomes “bought,” “get” becomes “got”
But somehow “fret” becomes not only “fretted” but even “frate” but never, ever “frot”
More irregulars coming up now, like “clad” from “clothe”
And “bade” from “bid” but not “rade” from “rid” – this, I loathe.
And sure, “slay” can become “slayed” but it can also become “slew”?
If I were on the road to learning English, I would be confused before the rendezvous


That concludes the second part of this adventure, one of many
What do you think so far? I’d like to know, so here’s a penny
The next one’s about not just one word, but two
That’s right, contractions, and I’d like to set a rule
For this next short section, I will not use a contraction
To explain the absurdity of such an attraction


Contractions may make sense to us now that we are used to ‘em
But is not it weird that removing them makes the sentence succumb
To incorrect sentence structure such as “won’t they” becoming “will not they”
Or “don’t you know” being “do not you know”; this language is as smart as a bale of hay
That is not even my biggest grip with contractions, you see
In fact, I am even more concerned about the way they are formed with such irregularity
How in the Angles’ and Saxons’ names does “will not” become “won’t”?
Where does the “o” come from, Yellowstone?
Do not you understand this language makes no sense?
If I had a nickel for every nonsensical error, I would have a quadrillion and a few cents


Just a quick interruption to bring about
A small doubt of mine about “-ought”
Because I can write literally anything I could ever dream
And it will still probably rhyme with “-ought”
That is all.


Now, for this last section, I have a single idea in my brain
One that knocks all sense into the drain
This section has just one line from which your mind shall sprain
It will grind your brain into a grain


This is a really real sentence; after reading this, don’t feel too low:
Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.


“What does this even mean?!” you might say, you silly bee
By breaking it down, the light you shall clearly see
“Buffalo buffalo” is referring to a bison from the city of Buffalo
In any other instance, “buffalo” means to bully, you follow?
So, it actually means, “Buffalo bison that Buffalo bison bully also bully Buffalo bison”
This is a ridiculous explanation to my brain, I can’t even be rhyming these words
Sure, the sentence would make some sense with commas in between
But what could we make fun of if it looked like it made sense, you silly teen?


Sure, the English language has so many things to be made fun of
But you cannot deny the impact that it has made thereof
It is a language used all around the world, on very specific grounds
It is because of the hundreds of invasions by those British clowns.


Follow Srihari (@_fgmx) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.