Friday, October 06, 2006

Food for thought for those of us who love the English language

Publisher's Note: The following was forwarded to me via email from a family member. I don't know who the author is, but it is hilarious! Enjoy the weekend upons us.

Y. Black, Publisher

English is a crazy language. Proof?

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?

And 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?

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?

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.

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.

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.

P.S.: Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "Quick?"
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NEXT POST: TUESDAY, October, 10th.

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