Them, then, there, that, Thames, Thyme: English language oddities

+language, +herbs, Thames, +thyme, +strangeness
Eugene, Oregon
August 2, 2016 11:26pm CST
Somehow at dinner tonight. the subject of herbs and spices came up, you know, "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, marjoram too. Anyway, I thought about those words, like thyme and why the "h" is silent. Then Anne mentioned the herb, thyme, another one of those "th" words where the "h" is silent. So what in the world is going on? English has many oddities, I know, but this one came up tonight. There is probably no answer as to why all this strangeness in the language exists. But, maybe you know? Maybe you know of other oddities too?
9 people like this
11 responses
@jaboUK (54871)
• United Kingdom
3 Aug 16
I could fill a book on this subject, as I'm sure a lot of people can. What about bow? Three different meanings - bow and arrow, bow to someone, the bow of a boat.
2 people like this
• Eugene, Oregon
3 Aug 16
It is a strange language and hard to learn if you are not raised with it.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164507)
• Garden Grove, California
10 Oct 16
How about two,too add to all pronounced the same am all slightly different meaning two birds I want to go to the store, I wouild like to see that movie too.
1 person likes this
• Eugene, Oregon
10 Oct 16
All very confusing, @Hatley.
@LadyDuck (171049)
• Switzerland
3 Aug 16
It's not only the English language to have many oddities and exceptions. I found a lot easier to learn English than French, with all those accents and grammar exceptions. Italian is more or less like French, but it's my language, so easier for me.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (61068)
• Los Angeles, California
3 Aug 16
There is a TV series called Rosemary and Thyme about two lady gardener detectives.
1 person likes this
@sol_cee (16889)
• Saint Vincent And The Grenadines
3 Aug 16
How about rough and tough but though ang through?
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Aug 16
workin'n the medical profession fer many years, there's ton's 'f words that're definitely not spelled the way they sound, lol. like pneumonia fer'n easy one :)
1 person likes this
@xFiacre (4796)
• Ireland
3 Aug 16
@jameshxstatic English seems to have more exceptions to its rules than enough. I pity anyone trying to learn it.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 Aug 16
Interesting topic. Too bad I can't think of any right off the bat.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41175)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
3 Aug 16
Brett Favre comes to mind.
@just4him (124201)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
3 Aug 16
ie and ei rules don't hold either. Consider weird.
• United States
3 Aug 16
The English language picks up bits and pieces from other languages. The etymology (history) of a word determines how it is pronounced (or mispronounced). Other languages are either even stranger in spelling/pronunciation fit (think French) and others are far more phonetic (think German). This is why my German students found it far easier than either my French or English students.