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
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you
comb through annals of history but not a single annal? 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 preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats
vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you
bote your tongue?
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? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise
guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a
lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and
cold as hell another.
Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent?
Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or
experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was
combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who
ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?
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 clock goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity
of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when
the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are
invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up
this essay, I end it.
Interested in joining? Go to HTTP://www.lyris.net, and subscribe to
The Funny Pages, or send a blank message to
W H Y C O P S H A T E Y O U <<<<&l <
-if you have to ask get out of the way-
Have you ever been stopped by a traffic cop and, while he was
writing a ticket or giving you a warning, you got the feeling that
he would just love to yank you out of the car, right through the
window, and smash your face into the front fender?...