odd sayings and speech
January 10, 2011 7:18pm CST
welcome! o.k. i am curious. why do people say so many things that make sense, but they say it any ways? for instance! people say="what does is sunrise"?, or "which time is sunset"? yet from "science" we learn that the sun is stationary while the earth rotates in 2 ways around it...so why do news anchor weather people, and so many other factions use such terms? or like to say...one may park ..and drive of course..but mainly park....in a driveway! yet how often i see cars driving...on a parkway! i wanted to talk about more things like this, but i seem to forget them...can "YOU" name something which sounds as it is, but doesnt fit its description?
• Adelaide, Australia
31 Mar 11
Yes, that reminds me... the paradoxes of the English Language. Quite funny really. You've mentioned parking in a driveway & driving on a parkway. We recite at a play & play at a recital. We ship by truck & send cargo by ship. We have noses that run & feet that smell. Quicksand works slowly Boxing rings are square Public bathrooms have no baths A guinea pig is neither a pig nor from Guinea. Why is it that a writer writes, but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, humdingers don't hum & hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural or booth be beeth? One goose, two geese - so one moose, two meese? One index, two indicies - one Kleenex, two Kleenices? One can make amends, but not just one amend. We can comb through the annals of history, but not just one annal. If I have a heap of odds & ends, & I get rid of all but one, what do I call it? If a teacher taught, shouldn't a preacher have praught? If a horsehair mat is made from the hair of horses & a camelhair coat made from the hair of camels, from what is a mohair coat made? How can a slim chance & a fat chance be the same, while a wise man & a wise guy are opposites? How can "overlook" & "oversee" be opposites, while "quite a lot" & "quite a few" are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day & cold as hell the next? Do you find 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 met someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? Where are those people who are spring chickens or who actually would hurt a fly? I've met people who can cut the mustard & whom I would touch with a ten-foot pole, but I can't discuss them in English! There's something of a unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill out a form by filling it in & which your alarm clock goes off by going on. When the stars come out they are visible, but when the lights are out they are invisible. When I wind up my watch I start it, but when I wind up this posting I end it!
• Adelaide, Australia
11 Jan 11
Yes. There are dozens upon dozens of peculiarities with the English language. I can't recall them all, but we found plenty whilst studying English as a subject in High School. Why is it called a hamburger when it neither contains ham nor comes from Hamburg? This posting might also interest you: http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/general-language-discussions/11827-some-peculiarities-english-language.htm Many of these sayings & others like them make use of presuppositions - that which isn't stated explicitly, but that native speakers of English pick up on anyway.