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Subject: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/20/04 at 7:02 pm

Something to ponder.....



There's 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, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you 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 but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

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? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

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?

How 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 requited love?

Have you ever run into someone who was dis-combobulated, grunted, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY 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 out and in which an alarm clock 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 up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it!




Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 05/20/04 at 7:41 pm

That certainly is something to ponder, mandamoo!  So many inconsistencies in the English language!  :D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/20/04 at 8:16 pm

I agree that it's a difficult language but it's STILL better than "Ebonics" which I heard some school in California are actually Teaching ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Bobby on 05/20/04 at 8:40 pm

My head's spinning now.  ???

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Howard on 05/20/04 at 8:52 pm

What about words "food & "good"?


Howard

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/21/04 at 1:46 am


That certainly is something to ponder, mandamoo!  So many inconsistencies in the English language!  :D


You're so right CF.  I couldn't possibly imagine how difficult it would be, trying to learn it as a second language. :-\\

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/21/04 at 1:52 am


I agree that it's a difficult language but it's STILL better than "Ebonics" which I heard some school in California are actually Teaching ::)


Really ?  I thought it was slang, not a language per se  :-\\

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Paul on 05/21/04 at 5:38 am

Heh! Small wonder there's so many 'Schools Of English' over here...

My favourite is when two aeroplanes almost collide, it's known as a near miss...

And when I buy a pair of trousers, or pants, I'd like to know why I only end up with one garment...

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: karen on 05/21/04 at 6:17 am


And when I buy a pair of trousers, or pants, I'd like to know why I only end up with one garment...


Or a pair of scissors?

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: LyricBoy on 05/21/04 at 8:14 am

When Aussies are having a good day they say "G'Day"...When they are having a bad day, do they say "B'Day" ?
Why is there no buffalo meat in Buffalo Wings?
Why is Indiiana University located in Pennsylvania?


Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: FussBudgetVanPelt on 05/21/04 at 8:23 am

Apart from Association Football (that's Soccer to you sporting ludites out there)  ;), why in all other forms of "football" does the ball spend the majority of it's time in connection with the hand ?  ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/21/04 at 8:28 am


When Aussies are having a good day they say "G'Day"...When they are having a bad day, do they say "B'Day" ?






It's more a form of greeting someone, as opposed to relating how you feel  ;)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/21/04 at 10:31 am




Really ?  I thought it was slang, not a language per se  :-\\
Yep, Only in California ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: QueenAmenRa on 05/21/04 at 11:50 am

Here in Oklahoma, people just don't know how to speak the language.  We warsh our hands regularly though.  And did you know you can write with a pin?  You can if you go sit in the second roll...up theyyyr, in the front o' the class.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: LyricBoy on 05/21/04 at 11:53 am



Yep, Only in California ::)


Word.  It be a language.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: LyricBoy on 05/21/04 at 12:05 pm

Then there are the ubiquitous Frozen Hot Dogs.

They are not hot, and they do not contain dog meat.  :P

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/21/04 at 12:20 pm




Word.  It be a language.
Over in London I've heard people say "Great googely a moogely", while snoop says "Shizel medizel"  ::) I first heard of "Ebonics" back in 1980, on the movie "Airplane"..."Well, lay'em down and smack'em yack'em!" 

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: AssKicker on 05/21/04 at 12:36 pm

Only one of these I can actually explain:

Hamburgers are called hamburgers because they were invented in Hamburg, Germany, (I think they were originally served as patties of raw beef mince with a raw egg on top) and the name was shortened to "burgers". Then they were sometimes referred to as "beef burgers" because they use beef mince, and people assumed that their original name of "hamburgers" meant that they were made of minced ham.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 05/21/04 at 12:42 pm


Apart from Association Football (that's Soccer to you sporting ludites out there)  ;), why in all other forms of "football" does the ball spend the majority of it's time in connection with the hand ?  ::)


That's something I've always wondered....  ???

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: RockandRollFan on 05/21/04 at 4:10 pm




That's something I've always wondered....  ???
Same here. And speaking of Hot Dogs... :D...why do they sell them in packs of 12 and yet the buns are sold in 8 packs ???

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/21/04 at 4:25 pm

Words ending in "-ough" seem to be pronounced in different ways: bough, cough, dough, rough, through---in all five of those words, the "ough" is pronounced differently. Go figure. ::) :D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: jaytee on 05/22/04 at 10:01 pm

You said it Amanda!!  Try teaching your kids how to read and spell. :D    It is so frustrating for them and the parents. ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Bobo on 05/23/04 at 1:27 am

Sough, Hiccough..

Words ending in "-ough" seem to be pronounced in different ways: bough, cough, dough, rough, through---in all five of those words, the "ough" is pronounced differently. Go figure. ::) :D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Powerslave on 05/23/04 at 3:59 am

The English language is so messed up because it steals most of its words from just about every other language that has ever existed. Not only that, but the original language was an amalgam of a horde of different dialects and languages from all over Britain: Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, Celtic, Gaelic, Danish, Teutonic, Saxon, Roman. English wasn't even standardised until the late 1800s, and since then thousands more words have been integrated into it. English is one of the only languages where one word can mean up to 20 different things. No wonder it's so hard to learn.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/23/04 at 6:30 am


You said it Amanda!!   Try teaching your kids how to read and spell. :D    It is so frustrating for them and the parents. ::)


I bet it is Janine !  Particulary when it comes to 'rules' such as, ' i before e except after c' when clearly this is not the case. ::)

.....or is that one not used anymore  ???




Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: LyricBoy on 05/23/04 at 2:12 pm

Then we have the new pronunciation rules these days...

-"With" is pronounced wither "wit" or "wiff"

-"Ask" is pronounced "axe"

-Any word ending in an "R".. the "R" is silent and the last vowel sound is a long "O"
  ("for sure" is "fo sho", "your" is "yo" and so on)

-Question marks are replaced with the phrase "Know what I mean?"

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: SuperFreak on 05/23/04 at 5:36 pm




I bet it is Janine !  Particulary when it comes to 'rules' such as, ' i before e except after c' when clearly this is not the case. ::)

.....or is that one not used anymore  ???


Well, it sure doesn't apply to the word "Foreigner"  ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: karen on 05/24/04 at 4:04 am


Words ending in "-ough" seem to be pronounced in different ways: bough, cough, dough, rough, through---in all five of those words, the "ough" is pronounced differently. Go figure. ::) :D


Where I live has two -ough parts and they are pronounced differently.

Loughborough is pronounced Lufburra or even Lufbra

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/24/04 at 7:00 am




Nope, still used.  Trust me, as a mother with a little one who is learning to read, and is in the "why?" stage, it IS difficult.


I don't envy you there. I remember a few years back, when they tried to introduce kids, and have them apply, the phonetic way of spelling, instead of the conventional way. Needless to say, it was a very short lived excercise. ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/24/04 at 7:10 am




Where I live has two -ough parts and they are pronounced differently.

Loughborough is pronounced Lufburra or even Lufbra


What about Worcestershire and Leicestershire ?

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Paul on 05/24/04 at 7:20 am




What about Worcestershire and Leicestershire ?


There's always been confusion with these two...a common occurrence...

For the uninitiated, they're pronounced 'Woostersheer' and 'Lestersheer'

There's a couple of 'hams' down near me...a totally different pronunciation to each...

'Eltham'...not pronounced 'Elfum'...but 'Eltum'...
'Wrotham' not pronounced 'Wroffum'...but 'Rootum'...

There's probably plenty all over the globe...

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: CeramicsFanatic on 05/24/04 at 12:46 pm


There's probably plenty all over the globe...


Definitely!  You wouldn't even want to try to pronounce the names of towns where I live!  Oh wait...it's a different language!  Nevermind!  :o

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: MLB on 05/24/04 at 8:13 pm

 
If you think English is a crazy language you should take the history of English sometime and prove yourself right! Having become a pot of Euro German, Euro-English, with Latin and Saxon roots, it is going to sound very odd to you on the European side of things. But the Americanized English is also constantly in a state of flux depending upon the youth culture and the latest street slang, and the old words that come back into usage. and the new technology that needs to be named. It is a fascinating field to some people. :D Or it drives you crazy if you're only into it for a degree in university.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: AssKicker on 05/25/04 at 12:31 am


Words ending in "-ough" seem to be pronounced in different ways: bough, cough, dough, rough, through---in all five of those words, the "ough" is pronounced differently. Go figure. ::) :D


"I thought I saw the dough-faced ploughboy cough and hiccough his rough way through the borough."

Eight different pronunciations of "ough". Pronunciation certainly seems to be one of the main weird things about English.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Powerslave on 05/25/04 at 9:24 am




Where I live has two -ough parts and they are pronounced differently.

Loughborough is pronounced Lufburra or even Lufbra


What about the surname Featherstonehaugh? Pronounced "Featherstonehor", "Festonhew", "Fessonho", "Festonhor" and various other ways.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Bobo on 05/25/04 at 4:04 pm

Of course, let's not forget the classic condensation, "Fan-shaw".

What about the surname Featherstonehaugh? Pronounced "Featherstonehor", "Festonhew", "Fessonho", "Festonhor" and various other ways.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Ripp on 05/26/04 at 2:27 pm


Words ending in "-ough" seem to be pronounced in different ways: bough, cough, dough, rough, through---in all five of those words, the "ough" is pronounced differently. Go figure. ::) :D


Or it sounds like up. Hiccough? It's pronounced Hiccup, right?

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/26/04 at 5:01 pm




Or it sounds like up. Hiccough? It's pronounced Hiccup, right?

I've always seen it spelled "hiccup."

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: AssKicker on 05/27/04 at 12:51 am

So have I, to be honest, although I think some people do spell it that way. The dictionary says it's acceptable to spell it either way.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Ripp on 05/27/04 at 10:21 am

To me it's Hiccough. Stupid English...Hiccup Or Hiccough? You decide!


BTW; the plural of Moose is Meese. Just for good measure.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Bobo on 05/27/04 at 12:52 pm

And the plural of sheep is sheepies.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Paul on 05/27/04 at 1:19 pm

Soooooo...if the plural of 'house' is 'houses'...

...then the plural of 'mouse' is...

I knew I should have given up at the 'I before E' bit...!!

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/27/04 at 1:44 pm


Soooooo...if the plural of 'house' is 'houses'...

...then the plural of 'mouse' is...

I knew I should have given up at the 'I before E' bit...!!

Yeah, why do we have to have irregular plurals? ::) I used to think (when I was little) that if the plural of mouse was mice, then shouldn't the plural of house be hice?

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: mandamoo on 05/28/04 at 6:11 am


And the plural of sheep is sheepies.


The plural of sheep is too many ! ;D

Silent letters......another source of frustration ! ::)

Pneumonia, coup, crumb, subtle, cupboard, wrestle.........

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Bobo on 05/28/04 at 6:20 am

That and glottal stops! I played the word GMELENITE in Scrabble yesterday - too groovy!

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/28/04 at 5:07 pm




The plural of sheep is too many ! ;D


Yeah, why should the plural of any noun be the singular? (IOW, it seems odd for a noun to be its own plural.)

Getting back to what I said about irregular plurals, if the plural of goose is geese, then the plural of moose should be... meese?

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 04/22/07 at 12:43 pm


That and glottal stops! I played the word GMELENITE in Scrabble yesterday - too groovy!

Is that an actual word, lol? :D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Philip Eno on 04/22/07 at 12:50 pm


Heh! Small wonder there's so many 'Schools Of English' over here...

My favourite is when two aeroplanes almost collide, it's known as a near miss...

And when I buy a pair of trousers, or pants, I'd like to know why I only end up with one garment...



Or a pair of scissors?


I can explain.

When items such as trousers or scissors contain two parts, as in two legs for the trousers and two blades as in the scissors, the then said item is then called a pair, therefore, a pair of trousers or a pairs of scissors.

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Red Ant on 05/07/07 at 10:42 pm


"I thought I saw the dough-faced ploughboy cough and hiccough his rough way through the borough."

Eight different pronunciations of "ough". Pronunciation certainly seems to be one of the main weird things about English.


That, and what rhymes - more on that later.



The plural of sheep is too many ! ;D

Silent letters......another source of frustration ! ::)

Pneumonia, coup, crumb, subtle, cupboard, wrestle.........


Silent letters, ugh...

The things that always amaze me are words that end in "-ire", or "-iar" (even some with "-ile" and "-ial"), and the ability to pronounce them as either one or two syllable words and not really be wrong. For example, "Fire" can be like "fur" or "fyar" (odd vowel sound I can adequately express by text alone), or "Fye-err", two distinct syllables. There's even a few instances with "-ire" words that they seem to be 1.5 syllables...

Nation and ration don't rhyme, but ration and passion do... a "t" sounding like an "s", wth?

How many ways can you make an "or" sound? Pour, sore, war, oar,.... but "sour" isn't one of them, rhyming with power, glower, flower....

Bidet, buffet, lingerie, weigh, survey, bouquet, lei, toupee, sorbet - where are my "A"s?

X is a completely useless letter. There is not a single instance of it where it can't be replaced with "-ecks" or a z. There are words, like "Ecstasy", that should have an x, that do not.

"Qu-" is similarly odd. Why not "Kw-"? I supposed the Queen wouldn't like that too much...

Words that end in "-us" have confusing plurals. Cactus is cacti - what is the plural of chorus?

Laughter and slaughter don't rhyme.

Foreigner and coroner do, despite being spelt quite differently.

There is no perfect rhyme for "month" (nor about 15 other single syllable words), but I'd argue that "once" rhymes with "months"...

Why are, when listing things, 1, 2 and 3 have different endings than 4 through infinity? 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 98 millionth...

Love, move, cove - all pronounced differently.

And finally...

"Y'all" is perfectly acceptable!!! It is a plural second-person pronoun. It's only unacceptable to use it when addressing one person.  ;D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Tam on 05/08/07 at 1:30 am


I can explain.

When items such as trousers or scissors contain two parts, as in two legs for the trousers and two blades as in the scissors, the then said item is then called a pair, therefore, a pair of trousers or a pairs of scissors.

If that is the case then we should be calling it a 'pair of bra' instead of just a bra? ;D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/08/07 at 11:09 am


Why are, when listing things, 1, 2 and 3 have different endings than 4 through infinity? 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 98 millionth...


However, the other ordinals ending in 1, 2, and 3 (with the exception of _11 through _13) end with st, nd and rd. Makes me wonder why we don't say "one-ty" for the numbers ten through nineteen. ::)

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: Howard on 05/08/07 at 4:39 pm


If that is the case then we should be calling it a 'pair of bra' instead of just a bra? ;D


or a "pair of panties".  ;D

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/08/07 at 8:10 pm


Words that end in "-us" have confusing plurals. Cactus is cacti - what is the plural of chorus?


Many multisyllable words ending in "-us" are like that (especially when the letter immediately preceding it is a consonant).

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: karen on 05/09/07 at 6:34 am




Words that end in "-us" have confusing plurals. Cactus is cacti - what is the plural of chorus?



It depends on whether the 'root' word is Latin or Greek I think

Subject: Re: English is a crazy language !

Written By: nally on 05/10/07 at 11:21 pm


It depends on whether the 'root' word is Latin or Greek I think

That's probably right... all our words originate from several different languages it's not even funny! Which is why there are so many inconsistencies in the English language. :o :o

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