Posted by Bob on May 08, 2001
In Reply to: R. Berg is Correct Again! posted by Ojeirol on May 08, 2001
: Next to Russian, having a unique alphabet full of consonants, it is agreed that English is a rather difficult language to master. Far too many conflicting rules. I also agree that K. Yone is to be praised to taking on such a challenge.
Russian is easier. Everything is phonetic, there are fewer idioms, and there's general agreement how cultured people speak. French is much harder, I'm told, because of the zillion idioms and hard-crusted rules. English, which continues to evolve into a more and more flexible language, is getting easier. If youwent back 50 years, this "shall and will" discussion had even more rules involving certainty vs. determination in first person vs. second- and third-person, etc. It was fussy, over-precise, and pedantic in the extreme. Such rules have mostly vanished. The split infinitive is the next to disappear; it's 80% ignored now.