[Loch-Ruadh] FW: the English language

Jane Sitton jane.sitton at radioshack.com
Fri Apr 5 12:30:43 PST 2002

Along the lines of what Sluggy said earlier about watching what you say, I
thought y'all might enjoy this:

Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:
[Read these out loud to appreciate!]

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he
thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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 nor French fries in
France.  Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are

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?  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 preachers
praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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?  How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the
same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

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 goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the
creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights
are out, they are invisible.

PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"

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