Should the English-speaking world help humankind and not take in any more refugees until it fixes a major problem?
I was listening this morning to the BBC, and a Syrian refugee telling how he had been abused: “They hitted me, bad,” he said. The penny dropped like a lead weight. Amongst the many things displaced people may have to go through is surviving in another language. English, with its odd rules and seeming absence of rules is just a bridge too far.
How would he know that, while the past tense of fit is fitted, the past tense of sit is sat? For hit, the past tense is also hit, not hitted. For spit, we have spat. The past tense of tick is ticked; the past tense of sick in sick. Wicked is not necessarily the past tense of to wick, and wicket relates to the wicked game of cricket. That’s barely scratching the surface of the seemingly bizarre ‘rules’ of English. Isn’t it time, like going metric, that English just gets itself standardized?
If not, I may need to form a lingustic equivalent of ‘Doctors without borders’ (medecins sans frontiers), to go into the field and help refugees struggling through the minefield of my native tongue.