Should the English Language Be Regulated?

Should English be regulated? The average American student would probably answer “Yes.” English is notoriously difficult to speak and write correctly, in large part because nearly every rule has exceptions. For example, “tough” and “ruff” rhyme, but we spell them very differently. Why don’t we just standardize it all?

Many languages, from French and Spanish to Arabic and Mandarin Chinese, have language academies that control changes to the pronunciation and meaning of vocabulary. Those institutes also decide the form of new and borrowed words, often changing them to align with the classic style of the language.

I have often thought that the U.S. is the capital of You Can’t Tell Me What To Do. As a society, we value our individualism as well as our spirit of innovation and invention. We delight in creating new words to describe more effectively those objects and ideas that we dream up. Most Americans would chafe if English were regulated in ways that would restrict that ability.

Also, English is happy to bring in words from other languages. After all, we are a nation of immigrants, and we also influence\ many areas of the world. All of this comes together to make English, especially U.S. English, an adaptable, expansive language.

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