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Old August 27th, 2013, 11:18 AM
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Default English is a strange language

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

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 .

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?
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 folks who grew up speaking English
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And 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.

Oh well, we can all shake our heads as we nod in agreement.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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For my wife English was her second language and after almost 50 years she still messes some things up. For years she always thought that "Thomas" was pronounced with th sound and not the hard t sound. The same with Thompson.

She also will forget a little used English word and substitute the Portuguese word. One morning she looked outside at our field and saw a large Turkey Vulture. She started yelling: "Mike Udubu (oodooboo), Udubu." I thought she'd lost it. She couldn't remember Turkey Vulture but remembered the Brazilian word. Now when we see a vulture it is "Udubu".

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 27th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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At first I thought I was reading DR Seuss

Interesting Paul.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 04:01 PM
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Ha! Aero girl, I thought exactly the same thing!

donna
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Old August 27th, 2013, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M View Post
For my wife English was her second language and after almost 50 years she still messes some things up. For years she always thought that "Thomas" was pronounced with th sound and not the hard t sound. The same with Thompson.
".

Take care,
Mike
English is also my second language. My first language was Portuguese.
We arrive in NY on September 3rd. so my 56th anniversary of my American living is also here.
It was my Mom's second time as an immigrant. She was born in Brazil then moved to Portugal and later the US.

After all these years, I still get confused by the English language.

TM
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Old August 27th, 2013, 07:57 PM
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I sometimes wonder about the collective nouns for groups of animals. Army of ants. Murder of crows. Pride of lions. Smack of jellyfish. Exaltation of larks. Litter of puppies. Covey of quail.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aerogirl View Post
At first I thought I was reading DR Seuss

Interesting Paul.
That's what I thought too! There's still a lot of native English speakers who can't get it right sometimes. I know I'm guilty of making a mistake every now and then. I've studies three other languages though and I have to say I am glad we only have one word for the.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave Beers View Post
I sometimes wonder about the collective nouns for groups of animals. Army of ants. Murder of crows. Pride of lions. Smack of jellyfish. Exaltation of larks. Litter of puppies. Covey of quail.
A gaggle of geese & a gam of whales. I do wonder where and how this came about.
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Old August 27th, 2013, 09:59 PM
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Imagine how hard it is for people to learn and write English...A rule is not a rule, all the time.
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Old August 28th, 2013, 12:21 AM
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In the Queens English, a Ruler makes a ruling, that, as a rule, only he or she can overrule.
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