There is No Such Thing as “Perfect” English

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There is No Such Thing as “Perfect” English

By: Theresa Bareithertypewriter-464746_640

If you consider spoken English proficiency to fall along a continuum with no English at one end and “perfect” English at the opposite end, you probably fall somewhere in between the halfway mark and the “perfect” end.  The reason we can say that there is no such thing as perfect English is that even the experts don’t always agree about usage and pronunciation.  Unlike other languages, English has no governing authority that allows or denies how words are spelled, used, and pronounced.  An English dictionary is not a rulebook, but a suggested guideline.  It is based on the pronunciation, spelling, and usage of most educated speakers.

English is in a constant state of change.  For example, “week end” was spelled as two separate words when my mother was a schoolgirl.  By the time I was in school, the preferred spelling was “week-end.”  Somewhere along the line, the preference changed to “weekend,” and nobody sent me the memo!  So, English is a growing, developing language.  As we import more words from other languages, and from increasing technology, we will continue to see changes and variations.  Don’t be discouraged if you sometimes feel like me, that you didn’t get the memo!

If you would like more information on our advanced English training, contact us today to schedule your complimentary English language assessment.

About the Author:

Ellen Dunnigan founded Accent On Business in 2001 specializing in public speaking, communication skills, and executive presence for leaders in business. She has 25 years of experience with professional and nonprofessional speakers in healthcare, media, politics, engineering, sports, and other industries. Ellen’s coaching in speaking skills gives established and emerging leaders greater confidence and credibility. Her leadership programs in accountability, alignment, difficult conversations, and organizational communication have helped leaders expand their influence. Ellen is known for her practical “how to” style.
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