A student asked me if English is a beautiful language. I answered no. English is not a beautiful language, English is…
One summer, I traveled around Italy as a student. While strolling through the market in Florence I saw this German girl at a hand-made book stand. She was not conventionally beautiful. She had blonde hair pulled into a braid that hung from the arc of her scalp, with the nape of her neck shaved. Her skin was too pale and her lips a dull shade of pink over slightly crooked teeth. Her eyes were wide set over a nose just a touch too long.
But she smiled as she was talking to the vendor. She changed, in an instant, from a still life to a brightly animated picture. Her hands rose to cover her mouth as she laughed and she closed her eyes for a second; when they opened they were bright with amusement and her skin glowed.
That's English, the best I can describe it.
With it's convoluted grammar, stolen vocabulary from a dozen languages, thoughtless spelling, and exceptions to every rule about its use, English is not a beautiful language. But when it's used correctly, when the right people make it come to life, it outshines its flaws to the point of banishment, leaving us with a wholly beautiful idea.