English can be so confusing

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English can be so confusing

Jul!a Jul!a
Every month, one of my jobs emails us a newsletter, and there's always something funny or interesting just to try and break up the monotony of the day. This month, it was about how confusing the English language can be. I hope you enjoy, and if you have ones to add, I'd love to see it!
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You Think English Is Easy?

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) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the 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) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) 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 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?

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 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.

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.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?
07/01/2010
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Blinker Blinker
GAH! I am going to annoy everyone in my email account be sending this out! This is wonderful...if not headache worthy. No wonder non-english speakers have such a hard time!
07/01/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
"I can't learn a foreign language - I've hardly mastered the one I was born with!" - Anonymous American
07/01/2010
Envy Envy
Haha you should watch Victor Borge make fun of the English language. He was a Danish musician and a comedian who passed away not too long ago, and he poked fun at languages a lot.
07/01/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Carlin did jokes like this too!
07/01/2010
LicentiouslyYours LicentiouslyYours
I know I am strange, but I actually enjoy this about the English language. Although trying to explain to my frustrated 12 year old why it is this way when she's trying to do her homework is a bit difficult.
07/02/2010
Sammi Sammi
Quote:
Originally posted by LicentiouslyYours
I know I am strange, but I actually enjoy this about the English language. Although trying to explain to my frustrated 12 year old why it is this way when she's trying to do her homework is a bit difficult.
I agree with that
07/02/2010
Sir Sir
Hey, I'm a humanitarian!!!

Nice post, it was cute. There are certain things that I enjoy about the language, and others that I don't.
07/02/2010
Annemarie Annemarie
I'm going to school to be a linguist, and this is what I LOVE about English, and other languages. Their nuances strike me.
07/02/2010
gone77 gone77
That's the main thing that annoys me about the English language. It's really sort of ridiculous. It's also why it's one of the hardest languages for a non-native speaker to learn.
07/04/2010
Owl Identified Owl Identified
The English language really isn't that unique; I think you'd be hard pressed to find many languages that do not have homophones/homographs within it.
07/04/2010
Kynky Kytty Kynky Kytty
Quote:
Originally posted by gone77
That's the main thing that annoys me about the English language. It's really sort of ridiculous. It's also why it's one of the hardest languages for a non-native speaker to learn.
Even if English has its own difficulty level, it's easier to learn than some Latin (for the complexity of the verb system) or some Asian languages (for the written symbols).

But I do have to admit that truly mastering a language is difficult in all languages, and this is probably what you meant. I'm still learning every day and I've started to learn English almost 20 years ago.
07/05/2010
bzzingbee bzzingbee
That's great! I, too, am going to annoy everyone on my email list, lol
07/05/2010
gone77 gone77
Quote:
Originally posted by Kynky Kytty
Even if English has its own difficulty level, it's easier to learn than some Latin (for the complexity of the verb system) or some Asian languages (for the written symbols).

But I do have to admit that truly mastering a language is ...
Yeah, that is what I meant. I've had several non-native speakers bemoan to me how difficult it is to learn English. I also know that a lot of native speakers don't seem to comprehend how difficult it can be because it's the only language they've ever known, so they don't think twice about how confusing it can be.
07/05/2010
Gary Gary
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
Every month, one of my jobs emails us a newsletter, and there's always something funny or interesting just to try and break up the monotony of the day. This month, it was about how confusing the English language can be. I hope you enjoy, and if ...
Nice!
07/07/2010
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Gary
Nice!
There's a Murphy's Law one I've been meaning to post, I think you'd get a kick out of it Gary. Next time I'm at my night job I'll post it.
07/07/2010
fatesrelease fatesrelease
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
Every month, one of my jobs emails us a newsletter, and there's always something funny or interesting just to try and break up the monotony of the day. This month, it was about how confusing the English language can be. I hope you enjoy, and if ...
Haha I've read this before it is great!
07/07/2010
NuMe NuMe
My favorite quote is from George Carlin, he said "If ‘con’ is the opposite to ‘pro’, then isn’t Congress the opposite of progress?" There's really something very true to that statement.

I also used to drive my kids nuts by asking them if the plural of mouse is mice then why isn't the plural of house hice? Or the plural of louse lice"

I've always enjoyed and been fascinated by the english language. I especially love etymology, the study of word origins.
07/08/2010
Victoria Victoria
And to think, this doesn't even take into consideration all those adorable and baffling regional colloquialisms found throughout this weird wonderful country!
07/08/2010
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
And to think, this doesn't even take into consideration all those adorable and baffling regional colloquialisms found throughout this weird wonderful country!
Wicked pissa!
07/08/2010
Blinker Blinker
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
And to think, this doesn't even take into consideration all those adorable and baffling regional colloquialisms found throughout this weird wonderful country!
I.e., ya'll, yonder, reckon, ain't. Yeehaw, GA.
07/08/2010
El-Jaro El-Jaro
Mi contractions.
07/08/2010
Victoria Victoria
Philly is an etymological dream. There are so many sayings here that have deep cultural roots, and the mashed up dialect that results can be quite funny.
07/08/2010
Gary Gary
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
There's a Murphy's Law one I've been meaning to post, I think you'd get a kick out of it Gary. Next time I'm at my night job I'll post it.
Nice! Please do
07/08/2010
Gary Gary
Quote:
Originally posted by Victoria
Philly is an etymological dream. There are so many sayings here that have deep cultural roots, and the mashed up dialect that results can be quite funny.
Philadelphia also has many ninjas!
07/08/2010
Total posts: 25
Unique posters: 17