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Topic started by RogueBishop on 1 Jan 2011, 00:58:52
Elite Member
United States
Posts: 1286
1 Jan 2011, 00:58:52
Never Considered That!?
The English language is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; Nor apple or 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, two geese; so one moose, two meese?
If teachers taught, why don’t preachers praught? If a vegitarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
If you wrote a letter, perhaps you also might have bote your tongue?
Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends, but not one amend, that you can comb through the annals of history, but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all of them but one, what do you call it?
Sometimes I think all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play, but play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on a driveway, but drive on a parkway?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requieted love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who are spring chickens who actually would hurt a fly?
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, isn’t a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.