Richard Lederer's "English Is a Crazy Language"

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WR097
Mar 3, 2013
Leo Zhang
Funny, Attractive and Entertaining: Richard Lederer’s “English Is a Crazy Language”
After Richard Lederer retired in 1989, he wrote a book about how crazy English is. Because he had taught English for many years, he used many interesting comments to writes “English Is a Crazy Language,” the opening chapter of his book. In the sixth paragraph of the essay “English Is a Crazy Language,” the author, Richard Lederer uses many kinds of rhetorical techniques. The use of these techniques makes the entire paragraph more entertaining and easy to read and let the readers know how important the English language is. At the beginning of paragraph 6, the first sentence, “Language is like the air we breathe”(160), is an example of simile. In this sentence, we can find the word “like”, and if there is an explicit comparison between two things using like, it is the signal of simile. In this sentence, the author states the importance of language in a very effective way. The author uses air to describe language, as we all know, air is the most important element in our life, which we cannot live without. Since language is just like air, which means language is all around us and we also cannot live without it. In case some readers cannot understand it, the author explains why language is just like air in the second sentence. “It’s invisible, inescapable, indispensable, and we take it for granted”(160). As we can see, the second sentence is combined with three related words: invisible, inescapable and indispensable, which are all adjectives and demonstrates parallelism. The author considers these three words as the characteristics if language; however, these words can also be used to describe air. Paraphrase the author’s sentence in my own words language is indiscernible, unavoidable and essential. Although the meanings are the same, the author’s sentence is stronger. The use of alliteration is the author’s secret. Each of these word...
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