Wednesday, January 16, 2008


We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox became 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 spoke 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?
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.
Where did this strange language come from and why do we speak it?
'Cause we don't know another, I guess...



Anonymous said...

Yup, English is strange... but the American language is even more peculiar. Heck - it isn't even called "American"!

Anonymous said...

^ - ???

Anonymous said...

No "???" about it. American may sound vaguely like English but you use different rules of grammar, the emphasis is placed on totally different syllables when spoken and you have a distinct vocabulary of your own. For example, the word "bring" seems to have replaced "take" in American. "Gotten" is not a word in the English language but it is in yours. You generally use "good" for "well" (as in "did good" rather than "did well") and the adjective is almost unknown. It's a splendid language, it really is time that you claimed it as your own though and called it "American"!

Before you use it, the word "pedantic" is common to both English and American (and I've been called it before)!

Claim your own language! Rename it!

Miss Cellania said...

It's often called American English. And the term British English is used to distinguish it from American English, although it may sound oxymoronic. The country with the largest English-speaking population of all is India, where they usually speak British English. Then there's Australian, which has no resemblence to English whatsoever...

Anonymous said...

Amglish just sounds too cumbersome.
Additionally, our regional dialects can be somewhat disturbing also. The nuances and colloquialisms are difficult for people in other regions, much less other countries, to understand.
I'm from the South and find one of the primary differences with the northerners and the southerners, is they'll say "screw you" and it means "have a nice day". We say "have a nice day" and it means "screw you"...

Have a nice day, ya'll... :)

G said...

Hi. Just a little something... Hamburguer comes from Hamburg, in Germany. Not something with ham.

See ya.