Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday funny - on the English language

I found this thought provoking article this morning in an email from a training company's newsletter

Language (1) The English Language!

"At present, this article presents a present, presented in the form of a presentation that presents the present use of the English language, which represents the present."

We take English for granted.

There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France.


We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

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, 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?

Food for thought

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? 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 goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when 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?


Merelyme said...

LOL great food for thought!

Hey...just checking up on my favorite bloggers. I do apologize for not visiting more often. Life gets in the way sometimes. Hope you and the missus are doing well.

jmb said...

Hey Deejay. In reply to your comment on the blogroll, I'm sorry to say that is still having problems. The html blogroll update is for those who use it but most of us still have the old out-of-date one in our sidebars. I did put the full corrected one at DTB because someone complained that they had not been removed.
Anyway just keep using the old one and hopefully will get their act together eventually and I will update it immediately.