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forward; "English is a Crazy Language"

From:Steg Belsky <draqonfayir@...>
Date:Thursday, July 29, 1999, 17:14
I seem to remember seeing this before, but a friend of my mother's sent
it to me.
Maybe i saw it before here.....anyway, here it is:


        English is a Crazy Language
                            An Excerpt from the Introduction, by Richard

  Let's face it -- English is a crazy language. There is no egg in
 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
 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 blouse, 2 blice?

 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 preachers 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 a "wise guy" are opposite?
 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
 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 creativity of the human race (which,of course, isn't a
at all).
 That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible,
but when the 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?

 Now I know why I flunked my English. It's not my fault,
the silly language doesn't quite know
 whether it's coming or going.  >>

--------- End forwarded message ----------

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