The Insanity of the English Language

18 11 2011

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’ ?

 You  lovers of the English language might enjoy this  ..

There is a two-letter word that perhaps  has more meanings than any other two-letter word,  and that is ‘UP.’

It’s  easy to understand UP,  meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list,  but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake  UP  ? At a  meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why  do we speak UP  and  why are the officers UP  for  election and why is it UP  to  the secretary to write UP  a  report?

We call UP  our  friends. And  we use it to brighten UP  a  room, polish UP  the  silver; we warm UP  the  leftovers and clean UP  the  kitchen. We  lock UP  the  house and some guys fix UP  the  old car. At  other times the little word has real special  meaning. People stir UP  trouble,  line UP  for  tickets, work UP  an  appetite, and think UP  excuses. To  be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed  UP  is  special. A  drain must be opened UP  because  it is stopped UP. We  open UP  a  store in the morning but we close it  UP  at  night.

We seem to be pretty mixed  UP  about  UP! To  be knowledgeable about the proper uses of  UP,  look the word UP  in  the dictionary. In a  desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP  almost  1/4th of the page and can add UP  to  about thirty definitions. If  you are UP  to  it, you might try building UP  a  list of the many ways UP  is  used. It  will take UP  a  lot of your time, but if you don’t give  UP,  you may wind UP  with  a hundred or more. When  it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding  UP.. When  the sun comes out we say it is  clearingUP.

When  it rains, it wets the earth and often messes  things UP.

When  it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry  UP.

One  could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it  UP, for  now my time is UP, so…… is time to shut  UP!



One response

18 11 2011

good to read your post –
An impatient bus conductor tells a slow-moving passenger ” Come on! Get off!”
And jokey journalistic reflexives – Fletcher passed to Rooney when he should have shot himself.
Good fun.

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