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The English language through the eyes of a first grader.

Posted Jan 15 2009 7:54pm

In first grade this year, Gavin’s language arts focus recently has been on writing sentences and paragraphs. I love the way he throws spelling and grammar caution to the wind and dives right in. He never asks me to spell anything for him and he just spells it out phonetically.

It makes me realize how messed up our language is. How is anyone supposed to remember all of our exceptions to the rules?

For instance:

Why can we not have 10 vowels instead of 5? This way there would not be any guessing as to whether or not the long or short sound is used and it would make the silent “e” unnecessary. “e” has enough use anyway. Also, there is no use to have 'y' act as a vowel. It has a use already. It doesn’t need dual purpose.

For that matter, “c” has no business using both the hard and soft sounds. We could then eliminate k from the alphabet and we already have “s.” Same things with “g.” We already have a “j.” Where do "c "and "g" get off anyway thinking they need to exert their power over letters that already serve their purpose?

With the new vowel introductions, we would no longer have a need to spell certain vowel sounds with two vowels like “chain” or “weak” It would simply be the new vowel that always has the long A or long E sound.

And how am I supposed to explain to my child that one is different from won yet pronounced the same? and we haven't even ventured into "dear" and "deer" or "their," "there" and "they're." God help me.

And why SHOULDN’T he keep spelling “was” as “wuz”? It makes a lot more sense.

I seriously think we should turn the English language over to the first graders and let them re-develop it.


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