It all depends what you mean when you say…….


tweetThe English language has a deceptive air of simplicity; so have some little frocks; but they are both not the kind of thing you can run up in half an hour with a machine.”

Dorothy L Sayers

I love English, I was brought up with it, and I was show how it can sing as well as any opera singer, but at times it can be just a little bit confusing, as can be seen below! Words, words, words; isn’t English so easy to understand. Where this came from I cannot tell you, as it arrived as an email attachment, but don’t worry, other examples will follow in due time. . Have fun, and try not to get too confused.

***************************************************

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning.

A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

 

You think English is easy??

I think a retired English teacher was bored…THIS IS GREAT!


This took a lot of work to put together!

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 intimatefriend?

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’ ?

Oh well; coffee anyone, paracetamol, a very quiet,still, dark room…?

Let’s end with a laugh though. I give you David Mitchell, angry logic, and Q.I . What else can I say but ..enjoy!

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Categories: The Joy of words

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4 replies

  1. Hi Chris, have you ever read the 1970 version of the King James’ Bible? Goodness, as a non-English person, it is quite disconcerting to see that some of the words used in the Bible are far removed from the modern English language, eg went becomes wenteth, built is builded, etc.
    Now that really boggles the brain.
    Regards
    Chantalle

    Like

    • Hi Chantalle.Yes I am familiar to the kings James Bible. If you want another challange try The Canturbury Tales, as written in the original Chaucerian English, the original old English Poem Beowulf, or an origianl manuscript of a Shakespearian play. That is when you really begin to have fun!

      Like

    • Hi Loro, yes,I see what you mean. I am suprised by one ommission though.

      Do you recall when the word GAY simply meant to be free sprited and happy. I certainly can, but now just try and use the phrase of “I’m feeling very happy and gay” or “what a gay day”. At the very least such commments may well raise an eyebrow, or an all knowing smile!

      Thanks for the link by the way, much appreciated

      Like

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