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English is a crazy language

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Tuesday, April 23, 2002, 0:05
Received this from a friend:

Subject: Why is English so hard to learn?

Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:

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) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
6) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to
present the present.
8) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
9) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance for the invalid was 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) A buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
16) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
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 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 moose? If one mouse, 2 mice, then why
not one house, 2 hice? 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 don'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. After all, in what other language do
people recite at a play and play at a recital? Or ship by truck and send
cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? And how can a
slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise
guy are such opposites?

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

Yes, 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.
But then again... that must be why, when the stars are out, they are
visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible! --

And my favorite of all.... Why to we park in the driveway and drive on
the parkway???

Stay curious,

David E. Bell
The Gray Wizard
AIM: GraWzrd

"Wisdom begins in wonder."


Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Philip Newton <philip.newton@...>
Cian Ross <cian@...>