Sometimes, I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
We will begin with a box, and the plural is boxes.
But the plural of ox became oxen not oxes,
One fowl is a goose, and two are called geese.
Yet, the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse, or a nest full of mice.
Yet, the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I spoke of my foot, and show you my feet,
Then if I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
One may be that, and two, or three, would be those.
Yet, hat in the plural would never be hose.
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother, and brethren.
Yet, we say mother, and never say methren.
Why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing?
Grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham?
The masculine pronouns are he, his, and him.
But imagine the feminine, she, shis, and shim.
In what other language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital?
We ship by truck, and send cargo by ship?
We have noses that run, and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance, and a fat chance, be the same?
While a wise man, and a wise guy, are opposites?
Some other reasons to be grateful if you grew up speaking English:
- A seamstress, and a sewer, fell down into a sewer line.
- After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
- At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
- He could lead, if he would get the lead out.
- How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
- I did not object to the object.
- I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
- I spent last evening, evening out a pile of dirt.
- Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
- The bandage was wound around the wound.
- The buck does funny things, when the does are present.
- The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
- The farm was used to produce produce.
- The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
- The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
- The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
- There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
- They were too close to the door to close it.
- To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
- Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
- We must polish the Polish furniture.
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
Let us face it, English is a crazy language!
- There is no egg in eggplant.
- Nor ham in hamburger.
- Neither apple, nor pine, in pineapple.
- English muffins were not invented in England.
English pronunciations can even mess up your mind!
If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a tree!
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of English in which:
- An alarm goes off by going on.
- You fill in a form by filling it out.
- You have to tie it up to tie it down.
- A building burns up as it burns down.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes, we find that:
- Quicksand can work slowly.
- Boxing rings are square, not round.
- If teachers taught, why don’t preachers praught?
- A guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.
- If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
- Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends, but not one amend?
- If you have a bunch of odds and ends, and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
- If mother is mom, how come father is not fom? Or if dad is pop, how come mom is not mop?
And finally, all the time we spent learning English:
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The rset can be atoatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe. Ceehiro
Lovers of the English language might enjoy this. It is yet another example of why people learning English have trouble with the language. Learning the nuances of English makes it an extremely difficult language. But then, that’s probably true of many languages.
There is a two-letter word in the English language that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is ‘UP‘. It is listed in the dictionary as being used as an adjective, an adverb, a preposition, or a verb. It’s easy to understand UP, meaning towards the sky, or at the top of the list.
But, when we get UP in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP, why are officers UP for election, and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers, and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house, and some guys fix UP their old car.
At other times the little word has a real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 of the page, and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on & on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now.
My time is UP, so time to shut UP! Oh…one more thing: What are the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? UP don’t screw up. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book. Now I’ll finally, shut UP.