You Think English Is Easy?

I actually would like to say that English is a beautiful language but that will open a can of worms coz there are other beautiful languages too.  In retrospect, its the musician, not the instrument that makes beautiful music.

I would like to think language as a medium of expression (like Mossavi Model hehe) and much like photography, some can take wonderful pictures (like Littlehealer) that captures our imagination and raise our pulse whilst others will not move you.

And you think English is easy?

How many of these sentences can you read correctly the first time?

  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 bas 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. The were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
  15. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
  16. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
  17. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Lets 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 werent invented in England, or French fries in France.  Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads which arent 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 dont fing?  Grocers dont groce, and hammers dont ham?  If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isnt the plural of booth, beeth?  One goose, two geese. So, one moose, two meese?  One index, two indices? Doesnt it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?  If you have a bumch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didnt preachers praught?  If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what about humanitarians?  (Sometimes I think the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane)  In what language do people recite in 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 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, andit 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.

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

Its easy to understand UP, meaning towards 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.  We use it to brighten UP a room, polich UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.  We lock UP the house, and the guys can fix UP the old car.  At other times the little word has a real special meaning.  People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.  To get dressed is one thing, but to be dressed Up is special.

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 definitely take UP a lot of your time, but if you dont give up, you may end 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 doesnt rain for awhile, things dry UP.  One could go on and on but I’ll wrap it UP, for my time is UP. So, my friends, I’ll shut UP!


3 Responses

  1. wah.. I like this. In fact, read it out loud to see if my tongue gets twisted along the way. He he

  2. Gooooood girl …… **mossavi patting Minci’s back**

  3. We also park on the driveway and drive on the parkway. 🙂

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