When I Heard the Learn’d Syntactician—W. Kruck Lingua Pranca Contents Asterisk-Insertion—Michael M. T. Henderson

The Anguish Lenglage II

Tom Ernst

My heart goes out to people
Who must study all their days
To learn the stubborn English language
And its enigmatic ways;
For I sympathize with him who
Doesn’t know quite where he’s headed
Through a maze of do’s, in Neg’s and Q’s
Unless they are embedded;
And those orthographic horrors,
Sundry vowels spelled chaotically,
G-h’s meaning different sounds
In “draught” and “ghoul” and “naughtily”;
I am certain, in addition,
That Tagalog, Cree, and Bantu
Lack confusing tag constructions
Such as “Hand it to me, can’t you?”
Well, for learning foreign languages
There might be other choices
That have even more deterring structures,
Aspect, tense, or voices,
But I can’t deny I’m happy,
As I sit above the din,
That I’m on the inside looking out—
Not outside looking in.

When I Heard the Learn’d Syntactician—W. Kruck
Asterisk-Insertion—Michael M. T. Henderson
Lingua Pranca Contents