I have a dangerous proposition
For you today, standing here in Honors
English class. I’m here to tell you that
I despise the English language. Okay,
I don’t mean ALL of the English language,
But I think we can agree that a lot
Of what we accept in the way we write
And speak every day is ridiculous.
Many of our English rules are like orphans,
With no obvious source or home. We must
Get rid of some of the more senseless,
Confusing rules we use, so that English
Can be MUCH easier to learn and write.
One of the most infuriating
Examples of the absurdity of
The English language is the homophone.
These words just hang out like rats behind a
Dumpster, waiting to bite someone who
Uses them incorrectly in an essay!
For example, take to, two, and too,
Three words that, when spoken together, sound
Like some ritual to summon demons.
As an entire English-speaking
Population, we decided that
Instead of coming up with three completely
Different words, we should use three words that sound
Exactly alike and randomly
Assign their spelling and meaning! But we
Didn’t stop there (or they’re or their). English
Homophones lurk everywhere, just waiting
(Or weighting) to grab you and pull you under.
Sell or cell – one of them you use on eBay,
And the other one placesputs you in jail.
Beet or beat – one of them is a nasty
Vegetable, and the other one leaves
You bruised and bloody (looking like a beet).
I could go on for (or four) days (or daze)!
Now, what’s the deal with silent letters?
Somewhere along the way, we all decided
It was okay to just throw a few
Extra letters in some of our words for
No good reason. They’re like zombie mutants,
Dead and having no purpose, waiting
Around dark corners to take you down.
You know them –- see, right there – KNOW! Where did that
“K” come from? They lie in wait to knife you
In the back. Or nife you in the bak!
Totally useless! Sometimes, we even
Toss in more than one, like in high or thigh.
Could you really not understand the word
If that last “GH” went away? But no!
Wasting toner! Destroying forests!
We keep throwing around these useless
Ghost (see, there’s another one!) letters.
The walking dead! Kil them. Kil them now!
In fact, some of our letters are pretty
Freaking useless all the way around.
Take the letter “C”. No, really, PLEASE take it!
We use “C” to make the “cuh” and the “sss” sound.
Now, can you tell me what other letters
Can make the sounds “cuh” and “sss”… that’s right…
THE LETTER “K” AND THE LETTER “S”!
The letter “C” is just wasted space in
The alphabet, and it steals the jobs
Of “K” and “S,” who must also think
This is pretty stupid. Think about it.
We could turn “coccyx” into “koksyx”
In the blink of an eye (or an I – those
Stupid homophones again!). I would also
Argue we could do totally without “F,”
Replacing it with “PH”. Yes, I know
That this takes two letters, but they’re already
RIGHT THERE to be used! Why throw in another
Letter and confuse things? We’re all pretty
Smart. If we all just agreed to drop these,
And do an update to autocorrect,
We’d be all set. We should eliminate
These pointless letters, immediately!
I feel sorry for non-English speakers
Who are trying to learn the English
Language. The crazy spelling rules and
Random silent letters alone would drive
A person nuts, and that’s before you
Even start to think about comma rules,
Agreement, or other technical rules.
I’m not here to argue that we should
Abolish English, but I definitely
Think we can simplify it. Until then,
As we go into our next semester
Of Honors English, we will just have to
Obediently continue to
Follow the rite of learning to write right!
Joshua Ward, Class of 2026