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OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #1 Posted by Ren on 20 Apr 2007, 10:57 a.m.

As this is an international forum that communicates in English (usually!), this posting is to remind native English speakers, of the difficulty others have learning our tongue.

My brother sent it to me this morning.

Ren

dona nobis pacem

Subject: English is hard

Can you read these right the first time?

01) The bandage was wound around the wound.

02) The farm was used to produce produce.

03) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

04) We must polish the Polish furniture.

05) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

06) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

07) Since there is no time like the present , he thought it was time to present the present.

08) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

09) 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 secretaryto 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 a 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.

And this UP is confusing: 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 clearing UP .

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........... Time to shut UP.....!

Oh...one more thing:

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U P

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #2 Posted by Antonio Maschio (Italy) on 20 Apr 2007, 12:30 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Very, very, very good. I like this kind of linguistic jokes.

Perhaps because I'm not English.

-- Antonio

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #3 Posted by Ron on 20 Apr 2007, 3:03 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

And don't forget; black berries are green when they're red!

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #4 Posted by Giancarlo (Italy) on 20 Apr 2007, 5:42 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Hi Ren.
Your post is a very good example of what I mean when I use to tell my friends that
hang out at forums is an unexpectedly good way of improving one's English knowledge :-)
Thank you for your funny and instructive contribution.
Best regards.
Giancarlo

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #5 Posted by Hal Bitton on 20 Apr 2007, 6:15 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Fantastic...I love it.
I watched the comedian Gallager do a skit on the inconsistancies of english in one of his shows about 20 (or more) years ago...he had a lot of material to work with! It was one of the funniest things I ever saw. Does any one else remember this show?
Best regards, Hal

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #6 Posted by Steve Fennell on 20 Apr 2007, 7:59 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Here's another: we park in the driveway but drive on the parkway.

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #7 Posted by bill platt on 20 Apr 2007, 10:02 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

These are great. They remind me that French (an all languages) are full of idiomatic expressions that get "outsiders" into humorous situatiuons!

This also reminds me that once upon a time I saw a very clever short that was composed entirely of the spelling anomalies--it was virtually unreadable! What I mean is things like starting a word with the "f" sound but spelled GH as in "enough" viz "fathom" would be spelled GHETHIM or something, "telephone" would be TELAGHOAN etc. (You might have noticed that I was stretching the unstressed vowels pretty far there--in other words a tremendous number of words have the same phoneme in the unstressed vowel position--yet they can be spelled with virtually any vowel. This is at the root of a number of common mis-spellings.)

Edited: 20 Apr 2007, 10:09 p.m.

            
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #8 Posted by Sleazey on 20 Apr 2007, 10:39 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by bill platt

How about George Bernard Shaw's observation that the phonetic spelling of "fish" is "ghoti"?

Take the "gh" from rough, the "o" from women, and the "ti" from station, and it's pronounced fish!

Who says spelling in English is hard?

                  
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #9 Posted by M currie on 21 Apr 2007, 12:24 a.m.,
in response to message #8 by Sleazey

Dr. Suess had a book called "The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough."

                        
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #10 Posted by Bruce H on 21 Apr 2007, 12:12 p.m.,
in response to message #9 by M currie

"A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough: after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #11 Posted by Chuck on 21 Apr 2007, 12:45 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

These are great! I also like the "rules of English" that are broken, such as, "i before e except after c". Problem is, we live in a WEIRD SOCIETY!

            
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #12 Posted by Ren on 21 Apr 2007, 5:26 p.m.,
in response to message #11 by Chuck

As I've seen it quoted...

" i before e, except after c, except when it sounds like a, as in neighbor and weigh,

except for when weird foreign concierges seize neither science nor conscience from the heights of society"

Or as they often say about the US and Great Britain, "two countries separated by a common language".

B^)

Ren dona nobis pacem

                  
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #13 Posted by Ron on 22 Apr 2007, 11:25 p.m.,
in response to message #12 by Ren

I just had a week-long class, tought by a Brit. As an American, I thought several times that it seemed like English was his second language. 8^)

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #14 Posted by Eddie Shore on 21 Apr 2007, 9:54 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Very entertaining post, Ren. English is a funny language. Grammer mistakes make me giggle the most, especially run-on sentences.

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #15 Posted by Bram on 23 Apr 2007, 10:15 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night? U P

Well, actually, thatís the second first thing I do in the morning after switching off the alarm clock, and the second last (counted backwards, you might say) thing in the evening, just before winding UP the bloody machine again.
;-)

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #16 Posted by Gilles Collas on 25 Apr 2007, 7:45 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

Yes, it is ... Learn French then .... :-))

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #17 Posted by Tom F on 25 Apr 2007, 10:23 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

This was a pretty funny read as I read through it...

:)

TomF

      
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #18 Posted by marc on 28 Apr 2007, 3:53 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Ren

So, i think we should learn Esperanto. It's much more logical :-) People who like calculators also like logical things! ;-)

            
Re: OT: (humor) English is hard!
Message #19 Posted by Ren on 30 Apr 2007, 12:06 p.m.,
in response to message #18 by marc

Quote:
So, i think we should learn Esperanto. It's much more logical :-) People who like calculators also like logical things! ;-)

A couple years ago, I read somewhere... "More people on earth speak Klingon than Esperanto"

B^)

(A friend of mine was teaching his dog to respond to Klingon commands.)

Ren

dona nobis pacem


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