The Cougar Corner

English Anguish by Alya Burnand


Take time to try a tongue twister

A total tonal tango

Through rules that are almost sinister

Spelling doesn’t guarantee rhyme, though


Attempt an awesome alliteration

Or concoct a complicated consonance

English eagerly awaits to enter

Creative chaos caused by incoherent communication


Want some good examples? 


Let’s take the time.

Throw and though rhyme

But not through and cough 

Have you just about had enough? 

Where a flurry of F sounds come flying out

In place of a harried H, causing doubt


I before E except after C

A foreign concept, the weight of which is inconsequential

Because, albeit the ancient rule, it’s hardly scientific

A society in which their exceptions are more numerous than followers


The English language not even its own

Stealing from so many others

And constantly making sure it’s grown

Confusing our foreign brothers


Something borrowed, something blue

But did you know the origins of “guru”?

Safari, cigar, cartoon and cookie

Lemon, metropolis, ketchup, karaoke


Havoc to begin with, then comes human nature

Inventing new words, a chaotic creator

Forget Shakespeare, bring in the internet!

“Most of those terms won’t stick” – Wanna bet?


Added to the dictionary are shiny new words

Including some you may or may not have heard

Selfie, unlike, phablet, and derp

Woot, FOMO, sext, and twerk

Oxford has officially recognized these chimeras

One of the most quickly expanding eras


Philologists of the future will be in disarray

Attempting to figure out what we were trying to say

Because not only are new words being crammed

Context is crucial in order to understand


We’ve become hieroglyphic with the creation of memes

Which evolve and devolve so you can’t know what it means

So I’m sure future studies of this time will get hairy

To the point that they’ll research using urban dictionary

Writer Bio: My name is Alya Burnand, and I am a senior at CSUSM majoring in Literature and Writing. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and I have a knack for language. I love to write because with mere words one can create entire realities, beautiful worlds, immerse others in emotion and the subconscious and so much more. Another reason why I love writing is because of its malleability. With the internet, communication in my generation is becoming more about concepts and emotional association rather than the literal meaning of words, which broadens the capabilities of language. When creative writing engages with our other senses through film and screenwriting, a whole new kind of language comes alive.

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