I Read English Goodly

...but No Goodly same as Read You


An unexpectedly, perpetually rich source of Laughter

  • I was 17.
  • It was the summer of 1990.
  • I had a paper route.
  • That last part should have been assumed, because I was 17.

I was nearly done with my route, which consisted of approximately 218 Seattle Times papers in the Bellevue area east of Seattle.  Vanilla Ice was blaring (does Vanilla Ice blare?), and I was rockin’ the Honda CRX with red pinstripes.

I pulled into the cul de sac and tossed a few papers, pulling around the bend to the paper tubes on the mailboxes.  Opening one of them only to insert a paper and I promise not to look for anything that said “Publisher’s Clearing House” on it, I saw a little folded note on it that said Paperboy.  Hey, that’s me! I thought gleefully, as I extracted the little folded note and hoped to God a tip check fell out.  Nothing did.  Jerks.

But to my lasting delight, and eternal amusement, what I would feast my eyes upon was the most gloriously written composition ever, next to “Let There Be Light.”  This note, typed neatly on some kind of onion paper, said the following:

Dear sirs,

 Please stop delivery Seattle Time to us.  Because we are nobody read it.  I try to call you 2062275770 and make record but look like useless.


[ Name Withheld ]

Oh that note.  That blessed note from Mr. & Mrs. Withheld that split my side and drew me back in to breathe its effervescence, take in its fine English prose, and drink in the mammoth comedy of the sentence structure.  And to be called “Sir!”  Oh, lordy, I had apparently arrived.

If I could write a response letter, it would read:

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Withheld,

 I don’t know that I shall ever meet you.  But I thank you for the gift of LIFE-GIVING AND ENDLESS LAUGHTER.  I am ONE with you in mirth now.  Your note has blessed me in ways I cannot even begin to describe.  We are family now, joined together in magical comedy.


Paperboy Withheld


The English Language…kinda sucks

So English obviously wasn’t The Withheld Family’s mother tongue.  But can you blame these people?  It’s a horrible fusion of insanity and brain fudge, with a side order of crazy.  There are twists and turns innumerable, and 100% of them lead to cataclysmic plunges off a cliff somewhere.

I actually did a similar blog recently, but this one here was too important to pass up, just like a Butterfinger Blizzard on the way home from the gym.

Maybe Yoda actually did speak perfect English - because English, as a rule, sucks.  God bless the poor hapless souls in whose will and determination germinates the seed of desire to venture to actually learn our buffoonish language.  It’s a pure barbarian assault on logic.  There is nothing in the English language that makes sense.  Sure, flip it around and examine the Spanish language, and you are required to learn tu, usted, ustedes, quesadilla and mild sauce.  But with English, it’s absolute madness.

If I were a foreigner, after flipping through the first two pages of “How to learn English and not kill yourself”, I would stop reading English and kill myself.  In fact I’m certain that there are more bloodsoaked copies of “How to learn English and not kill yourself” than there are NON-bloodsoaked copies of “How to learn English and not kill yourself” in circulation.

Those poor souls.

Here are some examples of why the English language sucks.  Now show ‘em some love, and throw up a Hunger Games Mockingjay salute for all the poor souls who have sadly perished trying to learn the English language.

  1. Why is it pronounced naked, and yet it’s baked? What if you got baked naked?  I think you should have something baked nakedly.  All of this of course while drinking a hot sake, which is spelled like naked and baked and is pronounced nothing like them.
  2. Every single “c” in Pacific Ocean is said differently. Those poor souls.
  3. How does “pony bologna” rhyme, and yet Sean Bean doesn’t?
  4. Why does Shawn yawn, but Shaun doesn’t yaun, and neither does Sean yean?
  5. Rules to learning English: Their OUR know rules.
  6. Can you imagine looking at the word “yacht” and not just giving up? Those poor souls.
  7. There is NO way “colonel” sounds like kernel. And yet if you’re addressing someone in the military why does it sound like you’re talking to popcorn?
  8. Queue. Five letters.  But you only pronounce the first letter.  *head explodes*
  9. Why is it trough, but yet it’s rough, and also it’s slough or through, when in fact it’s actually dough…but really it’s plough? So do you plough through the dough slough roughly in the trough?  Those poor souls.
  10. Said is pronounced said. But wait.  Laid is pronounced like paid.  But uh-oh: here comes bread which is NOT to be pronounced like bead, which is not pronounced like lead, not to be confused with lead.
  11. I get it now.  English is easy. Because it’s womb which sounds like boom.  And yet bomb isn’t ALSO pronounced like boom.  Makes perfect sense.
  12. English is hard enough (which doesn’t sound like trough, remember!), and yet we force new students to learn “all the good faith that I had had, had no effect whatsoever”. Those poor souls.
  13. Minute and minute are spelled the exact same.
  14. I’m not content with this content.
  15. I object to that object.
  16. Excuse me but there’s no excuse for this
  17. Someone should wind up this blog and throw it into the wind
  18. It sucks when I read read as read and not read, so I have to re-read read as read so that I can read read correctly and it can make sense (cents? SCENTS?!?!?)
  19. Finally, on a related note, if Yoko Ono married Sonny Bono, would she be Yoko Ono Bono? Or if Olivia Newton married Elton John then divorced him to marry Wayne Newton and then divorced him to remarry Elton John, would she be Olivia Newton-John Newton-John?
  20. *jumps off of bridge in frantic desperation*

Me give up.  Me learn Klingon.

Honestly?  I can imagine way back when The Draft was a thing, and young U.S. immigrants were faced with the requirement to either learn English or storm the beach at Normandy.  Their beach-littered carcasses speak volumes that they made the right choice, because English is a brutal thing that defies logic, vexes our very souls and should be summarily eliminated, much like calculus or Michael Bolton.


We are the Elite

As Voiceover Artists, we are the Elite. The few. The proud. The brave.  It’s up to us.  We’re the ones who stand the test of time and can successfully navigate our way through a comprehensive script just bursting with complex words such as “cat” and “the”.  The ones who, when the dust settles, can brush ourselves off and say “Vas schnouzer y quesadilla iglesia Antonio Banderas gutentag konichiwa, oui?”

Those poor souls.

Seriously.  In the Internet age, we’re plagued with poor grammar everywhere we look, even by those we naively assume are civilized English-speaking humans:

  • Things like using “your” instead of “you’re”.  Look, I understand you need a nap after having to use that heavy apostrophe, kid – you take some time and rest up and maybe you’ll get it right the next time.  Poor kid.  Tryin’ so hard.
  • And the saps that use “prolly” because “probably” is prolly too many sybles.  Oh, forgive me, I couldn’t take the time to write out “probably” or “syllables” because I’m a lazy bum.
  • Oh!  And how about this one!  “Bae”.  UGH!  That one makes me want to puke coat hangers.  You can’t muster up the energy to slap in an extra “b” there and make it “babe”?  You really can’t do that?  Time for some drastic action to shake some extra consonants out of you.  Here, hop in my car for a second.  Put your seat belt on, I wanna try something.  I saw it in a cartoon but I’m pretty sure I can do it.

It’s up to us, O Worthy Voice Talent, to preserve reading goodly.  Spelling goodly. Pronouncing goodly.  Showing the world that we understand good diction, pronunciation, articulation, and other -tions that really matter.

It’s up to us to make recordings that document our unswerving commitment to speaking with clarity.  Not the kind of semi-opaque clarity that makes a 17-year-old paperboy keel over from side-splitting laughter.  I’m talking real, translucent, dazzling clarity with dotted i’s and crossed t’s.  With “I" before "E" except after "C" and when sounding like "A" as in neighbor and weigh, and on weekends and holidays and all throughout May, where you’ll always be wrong no matter what you say.

Those poor souls.  Prolly time they get themselves a bae.

In short, please stop delivery Seattle Time to us. Because we are nobody read it.


Joshua Withheld





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Joshua Alexander
Seattle Voice Actor & Voiceover Talent for hire

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4 thoughts on “I Read English Goodly”

  1. I loved the way you so eloquently pointed out the dilemma of reading read wrong. It was a tad difficult to make sure I read read Wright er right I mean. Now see what you’ve done to me!
    I truly enjoyed every minute minute of your blog.

    1. Thank you Richard! I deeply appreciate the engagement and for taking the time to read and reply! This was one of my more favorite ones. Glad it amused you in reading as much it amused me to write! And YES! The English language is STOOPID!

  2. Really well written (who knows why the “w” is there or the “k” Aggghhhhhh. Make it stop!!!!!!).

    Loved the Pacific Ocean quote!

    Thanks for that Josh. Really made me laugh.

    1. You’re so welcome Craig! Thanks for reading and for replying. Glad you liked it! And to quote the youth of today, “I know, riiiiiiiiiight?” Seriously messed up lingo we’re sporting. Beats me how anyone even understands each other in English speaking countries.

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