Is not a language for the weak minded…

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox becomes 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 speak 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?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And 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.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?

Author unknown

As a fellow writer says, “English mugs other languages in a dark alley and just takes what it wants without regard for case, sense, or anything else.”


Engrish… — 11 Comments

  1. FLY – 1) pesky insect. 2) a closure on apparel. 3) traveling through the air. 4) looking dapper.

    Pronounced the same – spelled the same. But three meanings.


  2. The English muffin one brings back a Memory of when I was first in England. We’re having breakfast and they put out English Muffins and I said ‘Oh! You have English Muffins!’ and they all looked at me like I was mental.
    I then realized ‘oh wait, I’m in England!’ and I looked at them and said, ‘In the US we call these English Muffins, because obviously they come from England! What do you call them?’

    (I can’t remember if they just said ‘muffins’ or if there was another name, it was a while ago) but they all found it uniformly funny that WE (in the US) called them that.

  3. jrg- LOL

    John- Snort, yeah, ‘remembering’ where one is before saying something IS important…LOL

    Guy- Gah… no, just…no!

  4. “The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.”
    –James D. Nicoll

  5. And just HOW can a SHRIMP be JUMBO???


    There… I feel MUCH better now…

  6. Ed- Yes, that is the other quote I was looking for! Thank you!

    Tom- Snort, yes… TRUE!!!

  7. English language, cleaving it’s people at the same time.

    A good portion of the problem is revenge of the French.