Journal

My journal of thoughts and observations.

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8. Why Can't the English...?

I was listening to Why Can't the English? from the musical My Fair Lady and I was thinking on how I agreed with what the character Henry Higgin is saying.

The first line sets the tone of the whole song, "Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?" The song, though it was written in the context of pre-WWI England, still has relevance today as it did in those days as a lot of people don't seem to speak 'proper' English; myself included, on occasion. Whenever I say 'gotten' instead of 'got' or mispronounce a word or name, my Dad always corrects me if I haven't already done it myself. And then he would go on about how English isn't just English anymore. I think it's because most people copy what they see on television because they think it's fashionable, and it just so happens that a lot of what they see and hear is American, or copied off them.

Also people who do make an effort to speak proper English are looked down on and very often teased, as Henry Higgins aptly puts it, "Use proper English and you're regarded as a freak!" and I have personally experienced*. My parents, though we are, I suppose, from the upper working class but they both made sure that they taught me to speak properly. I don't think that some parents bother teaching their children, and some just aren't interested in learning proper English or improving their speech.

Like the ending line of the song, I will end this post with...why can't the English learn to speak?

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