Log Cabin Chronicles

English is such a crazy language

POSTED 08.08.01

English is such 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.

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

Doesn't it seem strange that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal?

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham?

Here are twenty-one other reasons that English is a difficult tongue 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?

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Copyright © 2001 John Mahoney/Log Cabin Chronicles/08.01