Is it fine to pay a fine?

Language is the most imperfect and expensive means yet discovered for communicating thought, opined William James. I am not sure about the expense part but he’s right about imperfection. Take, for example, the pronunciation of letter ‘u’ in words like cut and put and the imperfection stares at you.

Many like me are confused by lose and loose. I am at a loss sometimes to know if I have to lose or loose something. Is it fine to pay a fine? Do you need to be trained to travel by train? And trainees are not passengers. Please rise (or, is it raise) to eat some rice.

Repair can be totally different in different contexts. Why do we have both judgement and judgment? In my judgement one judgment is enough. But which one? Thieves can steal steel, too.

If tree can be trees why should knife be knives not knifes? And why is there no plural for aircraft and/or furniture? And we chide those who write childs for children. Why are there no mediums/stadiums but only media/stadia? Take pronunciation.

Knowledge is to be pronounced as just noledge, that’s all; then why include k and w at all? If ‘s’ has no role to play in island, then why should it be there, like a non-playing captain? By the way what is ‘k’ doing in know, do you know? If you are not tying the knot is the marriage off; or is it the wedding?

To pronounce rendezvous correctly I had to wait till I joined a newspaper office. It is just rendavoo. So why the extra baggage of e, z, o, u, s? If ‘fire’ is a difficult word, replace it with ‘conflagration’. How is panel different from committee? Play can be enacted both on the field and the stage but the two are totally different. So why not two totally different words?

‘Go’ becomes ‘went’ and then comes back as ‘gone’; ‘run’ is first ‘ran’ and then ‘run’ again. But why is ‘cut’ cut and cut; bid bid and bid? If good can be better and then best why is small, smaller and smallest? Why do we need two ‘c’s but one ‘s’ in occasion?

Either you are dead or serious. Sure? No. You can be dead serious, as I am now about its imperfection.

Let me end this with a quote as I began, “I know there are professors who ‘ligate’ arteries. Other surgeons only tie them, and it stops the bleeding just as well.”

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