The English Language...
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Examples of why the English language is so hard to learn:
English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, 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 sweetbread,
which aren't sweet, are meat.
- The bandage was wound around the wound.
- The farm was used to produce produce.
- The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
- We must polish the Polish furniture.
- He could lead if he would get the lead out.
- The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
- Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present
- A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
- I did not object to the object.
- The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
- There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
- They were too close to the door to close it.
- The buck does funny things when the does are present.
- A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
- To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
- The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
- After a number of injections, my jaw got number.
- Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
- I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
- How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
We take English for granted. However, 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, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two 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
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.
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