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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Let's Learn English!

My first time to join Smiley Saturday...

I hope the article below makes you smile!

Let's 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 weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another.

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
~ I just got this from an email so I can't really acknowledge the owner!

Learn more about Smiley Saturday...and visit Lightening for other smiley participants!


Anonymous said...


Very funny AND true.

Glad you enjoyed the Smiley Saturday.

The Miss of Abyss said...

Speaking as someone who had to learn to speak English, it is a damn frustrating language. No wonder I still butcher it.

Anonymous said...

Too funny. English is a strange language indeed.

Anonymous said...

he he English is my first language and I still muck it up!
Happy SS

Anonymous said...


and it's a nightmare to spell!

Anonymous said...

LMAO ! yeah ! lets switch to Portugees for a while ! or is it Portugoose ?

Anonymous said...

So funny and sadly very true. English is such a STRANGE language. I have no idea why???

Thank you so much for joining in Smiley Saturday this week. It was a fantastic addition and I hope you choose to join us again. :)

My apologies for a delay in commenting. My internet access has been playing up today.

Jen said...

English is such a hybrid. It's very easy to make fun of!

Wholly Burble said...

Our language comes from so many others--a real mixer LOL--and often things DO get lost in translation LOL.

Thanks for the smiles.

Also, thanks for stopping by Mother's Day and wishing me well--I went to spend time with my mom that day, and we had such a special time. I hope you got to do that with your own mom that day.

Joanna Cake said...

A very enjoyable read :)

storyteller said...

What a fun way to begin Saturday Smiles! I did enjoy the article very much. I’m participating for the 3rd time at Small Reflections today … recapping the highlights of my week and sharing a couple of links that make me smile.
Hugs and blessings,

Momisodes said...

LOL! I loved the article :) English can certainly be strange.

Anonymous said...

That was brilliant. I taught English to native Spanish speakers and there are so many strange rules that you just have to know! Make and do was always a hard one.

Hanna said...

I have never thought about this way, but it's so true. There are indeed some odd things with this language.

I just loved the post. :) Totally hilarious.