Saturday, February 14, 2009

Speaking of language...

You may have seen this one before, and if you have, you’re about to see it again. I don’t think it is actually real. I think it has to be a joke. At least, I hope it is meant to be a joke:

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phase-in plan for what would become known as “Euro-English.”

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and should go away.

By the fourth yer people wil be reseptiv to such steps as replasing “th” with “z” and replasing “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.

A litl postskript frum RWP: Perhaps tu ze viktors du not belong ze spoils efter al.

Oh, und I vunt tu zank my dotr for sending me zis in ze forst plas.


  1. Oh, may this fractured English never happen. Thank you for this eye-opening post.

  2. Jeannelle, I do think it is not real and was intended to be a joke. I started not to post it because I didn't want to offend any people of German extraction. But if we can't laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at? (Yes, I am part Jewish, but it was German Jewish.)

    Gail, welcome to my blog! I don't think I have seen you here before. I see from your profile that you are in Arkansas. Do you read "Remembrances of an Arkansas Stamper"? Pat, the writer of that blog, comes here frequently. I hope you will too.

  3. my god it has happened and it is all my fault....i knowed some day my spelling wouldf get the whole damned world in trouble and here it is a big t with a capitol T which sounds like p which stands for pool, right here in river city....i whish i could be consouled but i can't i take all the blame...just me alone has been responsible for 6,934,065 miss spelled words just in blogging to you rhymes with bod and a few other could i right this teribble terrible wrong???????

  4. Putz (David in Utah), a good scare can often have a positive effect, and that seems to have been the case with you. If I don't count punctuation and capitalization, there are only six things wrong in your comment, and that must be a new record. Your feeling of it being all your fault has caused your self-corrective gene to kick in -- for example, in your last sentence you said "teribble terrible wrong" -- and I have high hopes for you in the future. Don't let me down!

    By the way, it cannot possibly be all your fault, as there are at least 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Merriam-Webster.

    You must repent in sackcloth and ashes for forty days, say ten Hail Marys, and buy American from now on. Go and sin no more. I'm pulling for you!

  5. A joke, yes, but cleverly done!

  6. Ziz iz grat! I hope all those people who think English would be easier if spelled like we speak it (this means you, hubby!) see what it would lead to!

  7. Clever!

    Nice picture of you too! Who are the two guys in uniform sitting next to you? How long have they been in your institution?

  8. Haha, it's an old joke and a good one!
    Dutch idiots, I mean language-reformers, come up with these ideas every 7 years or so, but they are serious! In order to make spelling easier, we had new spelling rules in which the hard "c" really was replaced by "k". And then these 'wise' people changed their minds and turned it back into a "c" again. Same with the soft "c" that was changed into an "s". But what to do with "ch"? They changed that into "sj" but only if it was followed by a silent "e". To make it even more confusing, they made lots and lots of exceptions to the rules. This has all been turned back to hard "c" and soft "c" and "ch" again (as far as I know). The last changes they made to our spelling were about the inbetween-n. I will not bore and/or bother you with that now, it's even difficult to explain to people who are Dutch. So now nobody is bothered anymore. Nobody can use the correct spelling anymore, because nobody knows what the correct spelling is.
    And if you read things that have been written by teenagers it is all in text-spelling. So wait or weight = spelled as w8. Which gives us hope for the future.

  9. Hoi, me again, I often forget to tick the 'Email follow-up comments'-box. So I've returned to tick it, I've ticked it now. Phew! I've left answers and comments for you in my place, so I hope you ticked the box!

  10. Hello to Daphne, Ruth, and Rosezilla, Yorkshire Pudding in the U.K., and Carolina in Nederland, the Netherlands, The Netherlands, or Holland, whatever they call it, nice to hear from all of you!

    I am not up to making clever comments on your clever comments just now.

  11. Yorkshire Pudding, thanks for the nice compliment, I wash up pretty well if I do say so myself. The fellow on my left is my faithful chauffeur, Reginald Van Diefendorf, who has been with me for years. The mustachioed chap on my right is John Jacob Jingle-Heimerschmidt, my chef, butler, and pinochle partner.

  12. Nice work! But I'm afraid near the end there it was giving me a real headache trying to figure out the meaning of the letters, I mean words.


  13. Dear answers (Daisy in Toronto), thanks for stopping by my blog. I don't think I have seen you before! Come back often!

    The fun of the post, I think, is not in figuring out what letters the new letters are replacing so that you can pronounce the words properly, the fun is pronouncing them just the way they look and discovering you are speaking with a thick German accent!