English is a crazy language!

Joined
Oct 9, 2005
Messages
29,622
Location
Moscow, Idaho
There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England nor 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, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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 opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another? When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. 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? Now I know why I flunked English. It's not my fault-the silly language doesn't quite know whether it's coming or going.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
4,047
Location
UK
In England we call eggplant aubergine

Allthough I do agree it is a funny language, I guess we really have to take pity on the non native speakers who have to try and understand our oddities without being truly submerged in them.
 
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
5,364
Location
Austin
Also, why do we call them apartments when they're together? :biggrin:
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
15,557
Location
Los Angeles, USA
I'm appreciative to be a native english speaker, so I don't have to learn all the nonsense associated with it! It's such a hodgepodge language, it makes no sense to someone new to it. I feel sorry for those trying to learn!
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
250
Location
New Jersey
Nick I think you should give credit where credit is due. Although a worthy and fun read, this is Richard Lederer's work, not yours.
 
Joined
May 7, 2005
Messages
4,564
Location
West Melbourne Florida
There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England nor 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, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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 opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another? When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. 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? Now I know why I flunked English. It's not my fault-the silly language doesn't quite know whether it's coming or going.

I have often wondered about some of the very same things. Thanks for taking the time to show just how impossible it must be to learn english as a 2nd or 3rd language.
 
Joined
Jul 29, 2007
Messages
8,447
Location
Wilmington, NC
English is my second language, and I enjoy being able to use it as much as I do!

I love English, as an 8 year old, it was about the only class I enjoyed and exceeded in. I was the best speller in class!
 

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