Dear Arabic Labials,

A few years back, I taught English to speakers of other languages. These amazing Arab students taught me about shwarma, argilla, sandboarding behind an SUV—you know, the finer things that make life livable.

These students, brilliant though they were, met up with an impossible roadblock, a colossal bulwark, a mammoth barrier (et cetera ad nauseum) during Level Three English Proficiency. You were that roadblock, Arabic Labials, and we’d better take this outside. By the pike racks.

In Arabic, it matters little that you blend the “P” sound and the “B” sound together into one androgynous non-committal usage of human lips. Why? Because voiceless glottal fricatives get all the glory in Arabic. I mean come on! This freaking awesome language has three, count them—THREE, “H” sounds. There’s the normal one, the guttural one, and the one that sounds like the voice of that pelican who swallowed the frog that’s choking him.

“H” rocks Hair-abic.

But you, Arabic Labials? You downright confuse every one of my poor Arab students who hope to learn English. Every “P” sound becomes a “B” and every “B” a “P” through your devilry. This wouldn’t pee a problem if only simple words were afflicted by this malady. The difference between “pig” and “big” is negligible, namely because they’re in roughly the same category. There’s even a poetic feel to the repetition and reversal of said blunder. “Pig big. Big pig,” sounds like the beginning of a nice, homely children’s picture story.

Put you don’t stop there, do you?

No, you had to go and make these decent Arab men, these middle-aged doctors and lawyers and businessmen tell me that they want a bowl full of bears. When I tell them it’s “pears,” they say, “yes, pears hypernate in the winter.”

Thanks to you, they want to batch their jeans and make pastries in large patches. At least they’re not calling them “baste-ries” or otherwise the turkey baster market would be inundated with year-round orders, thus offsetting the cost of other kitchenware, thus inflating the cost of food, thus destroying FDIC. See there? Economic collapse, Arapic Lapials. Yes, even this trend of atrocious reality TV shows focused on doomsday brebbers are your fault.

Freaking Labials, geez.

The worst? The worst is when you make these grown men take bitchballs down to the bitch to play bitch volleyball. You’ve confused them into thinking that bisexuals are piesexuals, and those old American Pie posters (boasters?) don’t help. They’re even afraid that some of their nosey neighbors waste good stouts and pale ales by beering over the fence.

The subtle difference between “bromance” and “promance” is completely lost on your victims. Thanks to you, Arabic Labials, a good friendship between gentleman and a celebrity crush are one in the same. That works if you’re friends with Sir Conan O’Brien. Put seriously: who’s got that on their brofessional resume?

I’m sick of you making it sound like they’re going to watch their first baby porn at the local hospital. I’m sick of your peace in their inner peeing, your shooting bar at golf tournaments, and your red prick walls.

You ruin everything for my students—students who hope to never use dirty language in public. They’re good men, Labials, good men who don’t deserve to have their words twisted into unwholesome talk. So stop it, Arabic Labials, stop twisting everything good that they try to say. Back your pags and let “H” get some hair thyme. He’s earned hit.

In bassionate, purning anger,
Lance Schaubert