Why English is Difficult to Learn
WHY ENGLISH IS DIFFICULT TO LEARN
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the row of oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
20) I had to subject the subject to tests on the subject.
21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Lets face it - English is a crazy language. Don't you just "LOVE IT" ?
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 at all, 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.
What other reason could there be for saying that people recite at a play and play at a recital?
Or, ship cargo by truck and send cargo by ship?
Or, 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 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?
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, 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.
Dianne Lynn Chidester, M.A., Assistant Professor
Social & Behavioral Sciences
Jefferson Community College SW
1000 Community College Drive
Louisville, KY 40272