Tuesday, November 11, 2008

English can be a strange 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 is a pig.

And why is it that writers write 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?

Doesn't seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? That you comb through the annals of history but not a single annal?

How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?

You have to marvel at our unique language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill a form by filling it 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 human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).


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3 comments:

Liam said...

I think just about more than any other language, English has borrowed from other languages...

Cristina M. said...

I am not sure about that, but I found it funny how words are used.

Welcome here!

Susannah said...

Very nice play on words! Thanks for the pick-me-up!