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#57439 02/17/02 11:03 AM
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Carpal Tunnel
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FWIW - arrived in an email while I was away ...

SO, YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH ENOUGH TO TRY TO LEARN ENGLISH?

This little treatise on the lovely language we share is only for the brave.
It was passed on by a linguist, original author unknown. Peruse at your
leisure, English lovers.

Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:

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) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21) 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"




The idiot also known as Capfka ...
#57440 02/17/02 01:25 PM
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Great fun Cap, I couldn't help it, I added one.*

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

*14b)And the funny thing that the does does when bucks are present is present.


#57441 02/17/02 03:43 PM
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If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Vegetarians? Why isn't a vegetarian one who ONLY eats vegetables? There's some goofy other word for such a one. What sort of hood does an adult wear in adulthood? And, of course, there's the old infancy/adultery dichotomy. And, since "otomy" is a suffix used in medicine to describe the excision of something, why isn't a dichotomy the removeal of a dich?

If you've ever been to California, you've probably seen signs on major highways (which aren't always high) honoring the former Isreali Prime Minister. The signs say, "Begin Freeway."


#57442 02/17/02 03:51 PM
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Why isn't a vegetarian one who ONLY eats vegetables? There's some goofy other word for such a one.

vegan


#57443 02/17/02 04:53 PM
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SO, YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE TOUGH ENOUGH TO TRY TO LEARN ENGLISH?

When the English tongue we speak,
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few?
And the maker of the verse
Cannot rhyme his horse with worse?
Beard sounds not the same as heard.
Cord is different from word:
Cow is cow but low is low;
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose and dose and lose;
And think of goose and yet of choose.
Think of comb and tomb and bomb.
Doll and roll, and home and some.
And since pay is rhymed with say
Why not paid with said, I pray?
Think of blood and food and good.
Mould is not pronounced like could.
Wherefore done but gone and lone -
Is there any reason known?
To sum up all, it seems to me
Sounds and letters don't agree.

Keiva speaking here:
This post was tough, but now I'm through.
Angel, I pass it on to you.

#57444 02/17/02 04:59 PM
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Thank you, Keiva!

ough has always been a stickler for me.

bough, cough, drought, hiccough, rough, thorough, though, thought, through.

If you tend to be confused, try this link:
http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/johnm/eptotd/tip47.htm

And while we are at it:

ENGLISH
We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot - would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
If the singular is this and plural is these,
Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?
Then one may be that, and three may be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose;
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
So our English, I think you will all agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?

Well done! And now you wish, perhaps
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead; it's said like bed, not bead;
For goodness sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat,
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt)
A moth is not a moth in mother.
Nor both in bother, broth in brother.
And here is not a match for there.
And dear and fear for bear and pear.
And then there's dose and rose and lose --
Just look them up -- and goose and choose.
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword.
And do and go, then thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Why, man alive,
I'd learned to talk it when I was five,
And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn't learned it at fifty-five!

#57445 02/17/02 08:20 PM
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 3,146
Carpal Tunnel
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If you've ever been to California, you've probably seen signs on major highways (which aren't always high) honoring the former Isreali Prime Minister. The signs say, "Begin Freeway."

Yes, seen 'em Geoff. The two things - an Israeli Prime Minister and a free ride - just don't seem to go together. Must be a very Californian joke!



The idiot also known as Capfka ...

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