English just doesn’t make sense sometimes—or does it? With so many irregular verb conjugations, inconsistent rules, and seemingly illogical pronunciation variations, English can be downright befuddling to new and primary speakers alike. For instance, why do we go slowly, but not fastly? Why does “of” have an “f” instead of a “v”? Why is it eleven and twelve instead of oneteen and twoteen? Why do we say ‘How dare you,’ but not ‘How try you’?
Linguist Arika Okrent presents an illustrated book with Sean O’Neill, and together they explain that these oddities of English are not illogical, but just irregular. There is a reason for the idiosyncrasies of English, and it includes barbarians, invading French armies, obstinate Flemish painters, and even just plain old snobs.