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RE: [TexasCzechs] REASONS WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS HARD TO LEARN

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  • Leona Urbish, Ph. D.
    Ray, This is priceless! I ve seen some of these, but nothing to this extent. Having my undergraduate degree in English, where one of my minors was
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 8, 2001
      Ray,
       
      This is priceless!  I've seen some of these, but nothing to this extent.  Having my undergraduate degree in English, where one of my minors was Linguistics, the evolution of any language is really a beautiful thing.  It's fascinating to study shifts in pronunciations (some of which come from ancient tribes overrunning areas or provinces and bringing their own pronunciations to common words, etc.).  Anyway, English is a real combination of so many words, phrases, and pronunciations from other languages because of its origins in Europe, first of all, and then because of the many invaders to England itself; so, it's no wonder we still have to learn a lot of it by rote, since the logic of it all is no longer there!
       
      Leona
      -----Original Message-----
      From: RAY J. BACAK [mailto:rjbacak@...]
      Sent: Thursday, November 08, 2001 9:36 AM
      To: TexasCzechs@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [TexasCzechs] REASONS WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS HARD TO LEARN

      Perhaps this will make the Czech language easier to appreciate? 
       
      Ray
       
      REASONS WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS HARD 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 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 a series of tests.
       21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

       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 indices?

      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 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? 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 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?


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