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Weird English

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Weird English

Postby Perry Lassiter » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:15 am

The latest list I've seen, though similar lists are elsewhere on this site:

You think English is easy?

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) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) 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? 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.p
pl
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Re: Weird English

Postby Slava » Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:55 am

There are, as you say, several others out there. They pretty much overlap, though, making it hard to find anything new. This one may well be the most complete compilation I've seen. Now we need to find new ones to add to the list. Anyone up to the challenge?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: Weird English

Postby hello_kitty » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:24 pm

I think that every language is a little weird. So people who learn many languages are so blessed.
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Re: Weird English

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:08 pm

Hello,

hello_kitty.

I appreciate your contributions. Welcome to the Agora. Post often.

I didn't get an early start at learning languages and I regret it. I grew up surrounded by people who spoke fluent German, Polish, and Spanish. But they knew English too, so I didn't bother to learn their languages. As the old codger I am now, it is pretty hard to learn a new language. The vocabularies are not so bad, but the grammars overwhelm me. We are fortunate as English speakers. We don't have any grammar.
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: Weird English

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:35 pm

Yo! You right there, bro!
pl
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Re: Weird English

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri May 02, 2014 8:04 am

I disagree with Mr Lassiter and Mr Hudson; gentlemen, you are just not consciously aware of the grammar of English. While I will agree that a complete description has yet to be achieved, Mr Hudson, as an ESL teacher, should have twigged on the existence of a grammatical system for English by now.
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Re: Weird English

Postby Perry Lassiter » Fri May 02, 2014 1:43 pm

Had a 7th grade English teacher in Ft Worth who taught us with the equivalent of a college text, diagraming 10-20 sentences a night, up to and including compound, complex sentences. I didn't have to crack a book on English grammar since then. What else I learned came from comparing Latin, Spanish, German, Greek, and Hebrew.

Saw an ad online yesterday purporting to teach conversational languages more easily than written, since the mind is hardwired for grammar! What about verb positioning and even adjective placement? And cases?
pl
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Re: Weird English

Postby bnjtokyo » Fri May 02, 2014 6:43 pm

I rather agree that it is easier to understand spoken language and to speak it than it is to read and write it.

Japanese is an SOV language (in contrast to English SVO word order) and the S is often omitted. Personal pronouns rarely used. It doesn't take long to get used to it, but I still can't read or write it worth beans because of all those kanji.
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Re: Weird English

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat May 03, 2014 3:30 am

bnjtokyo: I should have used a smiley face when I wrote that English has no grammar. Of course we have a grammar else we couldn't create sentences. It is just that a comprehensive set of grammatical rules is hard to imagine in English. One course I teach in ESL is grammar.
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