Why The English Language Is Messing With Your Head

The Cracked Podcast #106 January 25, 2016

A short list of completely ridiculous things we put up with as English speakers: 

1. I before E except after C (apart from numerous exceptions that you should memorize)

2. The letters C and K making the same sound (except when they don’t)

3. The multiple pronunciations of ‘ough’ (Cough, Through, Rough, Thought, etc.)

4. Different countries putting a U in words like Favo(u)rite or Colo(u)r

What the hell is going on here? How did our language get like this? Why is this the 2nd most spoken language in the world when it makes no sense? 

To get a grasp at the enormity of English, Jack O’Brien is joined on the phone by Susan Bennett, the original voice of Siri, to talk about her time recording every sound in the English language and how programmers put it all together.

Later, Jack is joined onstage at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles by Dan O’Brien, Carmen Angelica and Alex Schmidt. They talk about the history of English, how it combines the best of French and the worst of German, the grammar’s endless nonsensical rules, and some simple things other languages do that we wish we had.

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