It’s not so easy learning how to read and write. When I told my grandma about it, she said that when she was a little girl, it wasn’t so hard because there were rules to follow, and the rules made reading and writing not so hard. So I asked her to teach me those rules because I don’t want people having trouble reading my notes when I’m doing detective work.
The most fun one to remember is that i comes before e except after c. That made writing words like piece and receive a lot easier to spell, let me tell you. But then I found out that sometimes you have to just know the different way some letters put together sound and figure out for yourself what sound is the right one. Like ough. Sometimes it sounds like uff for words like rough and tough. And sometimes it sounds like oh for words like though. And then sometimes it sounds like ow for words like bough (found on a tree) — not to be mistaken for bow (which is what boys do when they meet a king or queen and people like that).
But if you don’t learn those rules, you could make some pretty big mistakes when you read something important, and then everything would go wrong. And if you write something important down and you spell some of the words wrong, things will go wrong for everyone that reads what you wrote … and it won’t matter if they know the special reading and writing rules. If you write it wrong, there’s a hundred percent chance everyone reading it will get it wrong. If you write it right, there’s a fifty percent chance everyone reading it will get it wrong.
Why fifty percent? Because either the person reading it know the rules or doesn’t. So either the person will get it right (the first fifty percent) or the person will get it wrong (the other fifty percent). But if you write it wrong to start with, everyone will get it wrong afterwards and it won’t matter what they know about the reading and writing rules.
After I talked with my grandma, I started wondering about syllables. You see, if there are rules for reading and writing, then there’s got to be rules for speaking. So how do you know what syllable gets to be the leader? You know … the loudest syllable in the word.
Maybe it has to do with categories. I mean, when you look at words like airport, railroad, seaway … the first syllable is loudest so maybe it’s because the first syllable is important. If you have a airport, you’ve got to have air or the planes don’t fly, and if you have a railroad, you’ve got to have rails or the trains don’t have anything to go on, and you can’t have a seaway if you don’t have a sea.
But that can’t be right because if it is, what does that say about the spatula my grandma uses when she makes cakes? If you use a spatula …. well, see what I mean?
This figuring things out English stuff is really hard to get sometimes. The next time I talk to grandma, I’m going to ask her about syllables. Maybe she knows the right answer.