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Old 11-17-2011, 07:29 AM   #1
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The English Language Is Interesting

Let's face it – our English is a crazy language. Did you think English was easy? How about some amusing wordplay?

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
They were too close to the door to close it.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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 indices? 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 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?
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.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this:

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends.

And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.

In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.

It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.

When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP for now my time is UP and so it is time to shut UP!

Now it's UP to you what you do with this post.

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:56 AM   #2
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Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

Why isn't the ough in cough, through, slough, bough, and tough pronounced the same?

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Old 11-17-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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Try explaining the following in an "English as a Second Langauge" class.

Consider the sentence "Time flies like the wind." You explain about symbolism, etc. Then you say "Replace the word "time" with the word "fruit" and "the wind" with "bananas".

The sentence now reads "Fruit flies like bananas".

Good luck with that!
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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That reminds me of a comedy routine that replaced the word love with lunch in songs. Examples: I'm in the Mood for Lunch, I Left my Lunch in San Francisco, Lunch is Lovelier the Second Time Around.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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What makes it even more fun is that English is really several languages mushed together and split apart again. So English English (IE: The Queen's English) and American English are quite different in many places (Cookie for example, or Biscuit).

And of course there are two ways to say most anything (or more) in both flavors of English.

Example: "Thusly proclaimed the deity: ENSUE ILLUMINATION and illumination thus ensued"

You have heard that phrase before I'm fairly sure.. Most folks can even name the book it appears in.... But.. You need to translate it from French based English to German based English first.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Soon english will be a second language in this country. not the first. they are now teaching the other as a required course in Cal. I'm told.
Buy any new electronic device and see if you can read the directions. ----english and????
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:28 PM   #7
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Languages being forced on us

Look what happened to Canada. Language is dividing the country.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:12 PM   #8
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What I can't believe is attempts to make English (or whatever the heck it is we speak here) have been shot down yet a working knowledge of English is required for immigrants to become citizens.

Canada is not the only country being divided by language.
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Old 11-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Is this topic flammable or inflammable, they both can cause things to blow UP!
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #10
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This is exactly why email scams from (mostly)Africa are easy to spot. English is considered the hardest language in the world to learn correctly.
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:22 PM   #11
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Just shared this thread with a teacher friend...
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:44 PM   #12
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It is not just English, in which a 'same' spelled word means something different depending on where it is in a sentence.

My kennel name is Inua. It can mean 'spirit' or it can mean 'spirit of the north' or a couple of other things-- all depending on where it is in a sentence and what other words are before and after.

A peice of useless trivia for today...........................

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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This says it all......
Gallagher - Messing with your mind - YouTube

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Old 11-17-2011, 08:54 PM   #14
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American English is the world langauge thanks to Apple and Microsoft. If you want to be computer literate and be a paret of that community, there's no option.

Maybe many Applers and Microsofties to whom English is a foreign langauge don't have the peculiar skills needed to navigate the higher levels, but they can get by. Unfortunately, those non-natives wo have learnt their English at the knees of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates may overwhelm the true, infinitely flexible English just by their numbers.

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