Wednesday, August 18, 2010

English - It Can Be Soo Confusing Sometimes..

I found this humorous-but-true piece from and thought I'd share it. I had no idea our language was so complicated - not hard to learn, just hard to understand...

There's no egg in eggplant, no ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple, English muffins weren’t invented in England, nor do French fries come from France. Sweetmeats are candies, sweetbreads aren‘t sweet nor meat. Quicksand works slowly, boxing rings are square, and guinea pigs are neither from Guinea nor pigs.

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. One moose, two meese? One index, two indices? You can make amends but not an amend? If you get rid of all your odds and ends save one, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? People recite at plays and play at recitals, ship by car and send cargo by ship, and have noses that run but 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? Your house can burn up as it burns down, you fill in a form by filling it out, and alarms go off by going on. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. How can inflammable and flammable mean the same thing? And when a car slows up, it slows down!

One two-letter English word has more meanings than any other two-letter English word: up.
It means toward the sky or at the top of a list, but when we awaken, we wake up. At a meeting, a topic comes up. We speak up. Officers are up for election and it is up to the secretary to write up a report. We call up friends, dress up, brighten up a room, polish up silver, warm up leftovers, and clean up kitchens. We lock up houses and fix up cars. People stir up trouble, line up for tickets, work up an appetite, and think up excuses. Drains must be opened up when they stop up. We open up a store in the morning and close it up at night. If you are up to it, build up a list of the ways up is used; it will take up a lot of time, but if you don’t give up, you may wind up with a hundred. When it threatens to rain, it clouds up. When the sun comes out, it clears up. When it rains, it wets the earth and often muddies things up. When it doesn’t rain, things dry up. I could go on and on, but my time is up, so I’ll wrap it up since it's time to shut up!

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