English language is crazy!

@suedarr (2382)
Canada
December 27, 2006 1:32pm CST
I have really enjoyed my time so far spent on Mylot, particularly meeting people from all over the world. A few times I have seen people apologise for poor English skills, and honestly as a person whose first language is English I know how tough it can be. I give a lot of credit to those who can learn it when it is not their first language. I got the following list from a friend earlier today and I thought I'd share it as the list demonstrates how crazy the English language really is. Can you read these right 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 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 a warehouse 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. PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"
16 people like this
82 responses
@rainbow (6763)
27 Dec 06
You are so right, I'm English and I still get muddled sometimes! I think anyone learning our language is very brave, and the people here who write in English as their 2nd or even 3rd language do brilliantly!
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
27 Dec 06
Agreed! Thanks for your reply!
1 person likes this
@Matducks (130)
• Philippines
28 Dec 06
u learn english just by using it more often. and also listening to it.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you!
1 person likes this
• Brazil
27 Dec 06
Hahaha. It´s Really. U Correct. Is a crazy Language. But there are other languages crazy too. Like Portuguese, this language is very crazy, and dificult, lots of details. Need many time to make a first sucessfuly contact. Write in Portuguese is more dificult than Speak in Portuguese.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
27 Dec 06
Thank you! I did not know that Portuguese was a hard one to learn too!
1 person likes this
• New Zealand
28 Dec 06
I think that every language has its screw ups. They all repeat themseleves, they are often confusing, and they are often tongue twisting. Portuguese may be just the same, but I think so is chinese and japanese and all the other languages.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you for adding to this discussion!
• Canada
28 Dec 06
i would agree with u that english has some twists in it. but u have to agree too that this must be one of the speciality of english, it must be one of the facts that makes english unique like the other languages in the world.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
I think it is a good language. Just it can be very hard to learn at times.
@dmanuel (411)
28 Dec 06
nice one! although i heard this one back in high school. but it's a good post hopefully all other members would be more comfortable in expressing how they feel. :)
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
I thought it was a lot of fun and sensible when my friend sent it. Thank you!!!
1 person likes this
• India
28 Dec 06
I accept the fact that English is Quite hard but not as 'Crazy' as the presenter suggested. In the light of the examples which he has suggested for citing 'English' as crazy, I would argue that we find these type of examples in almost every Language spoken. The observation which I ve made over speaking, Reading and writing English for the 20 years has made me that its an Graceful, Comprehensive and Complete Language.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you both for sharing your thoughts. I would say that phonetic language appears to be more logical in many ways.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 06
Then we add in our dialects...or accents as some may know them. You all in New Jersey becomes Y'll in Georgia. Beach on the ocean is a tree beech in Minnesota. Popular is when everyone likes you but in Minnesota it is a tree popular we use to make paper. And of course the only person who doesn't have an accent is the person currently speaking...at least they don't have one to themselves.
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Very good point about dialects and yes that can make it even more difficult to understand. Even spelling in the USA, Canada, and Britain can be very different.
1 person likes this
@patootie (3593)
28 Dec 06
I've always been fascinated with the English language ... you can say anything you like and with a few carefully chosen words added in you can make it sound like the opposite meaning ... and all those weird spellings ... it must be the hardest language to learn ... I am so grateful for being English so I can at least get by ... but sadly I know my grammar is appalling One word I've always wondered at is why the word pacifist ends in fist .. which is pretty much the opposite of what a pacifist would be .. very weird .. makes you wonder how some of these words got started doesn't it ..
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Yes, I often wonder about the origins of certain words too!
@anyablue (363)
• United States
28 Dec 06
Excellent example. Even though I am a native English speaker I always became so confused learning grammer in high school. Your comment about the language being created by people, not computers especially struck me. I'm not sure what everyone here knows about the history of English. It is worth reading up on. English is one of those languages that reflects the influence invaders and neighbors had. Then add the fact that English retains the pronounciation of past centuries. I too applaud those who choose to learn it as an additional language.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you!
@Syphon (287)
• Germany
28 Dec 06
It might be a crazy language but there are worse languages. English is easy to learn. French not !
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you for your reply! I actually did ok in French in school.
1 person likes this
@greengal (4288)
• United States
27 Dec 06
I totally agree..English is one crazy language. I enjoyed reading the first part..I had read the latter earlier. Thanks for sharing!:)
2 people like this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
27 Dec 06
You're welcome ... :) And thanks for your reply!
1 person likes this
@katprice (807)
• United States
28 Dec 06
It is a really strange language, that's true. What about to, two, too and Tue.? I think it all came out of Latin, so I guess we can blame those guys.
2 people like this
• Philippines
28 Dec 06
hahahahahaha! I have already heard some people saying that the English language is crazy but not shown as such as this! And also some if not many English speaking people want their expressions to be adopted by others. I am a translator from Greek to English and some Americans who read the work said that the translation does not conform with the English expressions. I translate the Word of God PLAINLY - Greek word into its English equivalent. Well, that is the Word of God and why should God follow the English expressions? Let God say what He wants to say and that's how I did the translation - not my words (additional words for grammar purposes mostly linking verbs are written in italics). Greek is a much better language. From a Greek word, we can determine the gender and the number - masculine or feminine and singular or plural. In English, we have just 3 articles; in Greek, we have 24. Thanks a lot primarily for making me laugh. May God bless you. SEN I like Greek better than others including my own - Pilipino. Our language needs many improvements yet and actually, it is growing as all other languages.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
29 Dec 06
Thank you!
• India
28 Dec 06
Hey suedarr nice one.....I had come across a similar discussion in the past and posted my response on it. English is really a funny language. I am not such a good historian but I do remember hearing this somewhere. I beleive it was Sir George Washington who made this statement(have I spelt hisname right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).He says that the way English words are pronounced is so bad that if we were to write as we spoke then the word FISH could be spelt as GHOTI. Confused!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This was the explanation given to substantiate this statement........ GH is pronounced as F in the word TOUGH O is pronounced as I in the word JOHNSON TI is pronounced as SH in the word CONDITION Hence the word FISH can be written as GHOTI.
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
29 Dec 06
Hahaha!!! That is cool .... Thank you!
@kcbomba (616)
• United States
28 Dec 06
does that mean english is not precise , and is complicated ? English is not my first language though . Am a Nigerian .
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
29 Dec 06
Yes, I think it can be complicated to learn it.
• India
28 Dec 06
all languages have got something more or less in the similar fashion like d same spelling being pronounced in a different cotext giving different meaning
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thanks for the reply!
@Kevindu62 (329)
• France
28 Dec 06
Yes I love english language !
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you!
@kuest1986 (484)
• India
28 Dec 06
thats one of the longest explanation i have seen in mylot. great work man! yes u are right.english is a very funny language.hindi is a lot more scientific and logical.
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
I think Hindi sounds beautiful when spoken. Thank you!
@remaster74 (4066)
• Greece
28 Dec 06
Well, I'm a greek and I have studied the english language for almost 20 years. And I still learn day after day. I don't even speak greek correct, why should I bother learn a foreign language? But the paradoxe is paradoxe. In english language there are so many weird words. In greek it's more easy. Most of the words mean what they are saying. Most plurals are the same and there is a little paradoxe in grammar but anyone can handles it. But, I still think you have to try and explore and learn the best way you can the foreign languages you wish to speak. It;s a form of respect. I don't like foreign people who come into my country and they speak the language the same way they used to speak it when they arrived, some 6 years ago. This is a form of disrespect.
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
I think it is important to tey and learn the language of a country too. It can be be very hard at times for people.
• India
28 Dec 06
There is a saying that english is language of diplomats. So you can well understand how crazy it may seem sometimes. Something is told when the meaning is just not that, but something opposite to that for example the sweetmeat case. It is though not crazy, but can make people crazy.
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
I had not heard that saying before. Thank you for sharing it.
@dlee8514 (27)
• Australia
28 Dec 06
Hi, I'm come from Hong Kong and now studying in Perth, Australia. Honestly I don't get any of those sentences at the first time, most of them I don't understand at all.. I very agree of that English is a hard language. I speak Cantonese and it is a very different language with English, we don't have letters, don't need to remember spelling, the grammar is easy than English(at least I don't need to remember which word's present, past and past-perfect tenses) I've been Australia half a year ago, I feel the most problem for me is to remember new words and understand how to use it. Moreover is the spelling, it's hard for me who has a really bad memory to remember the spelling of every English word, even I'm writing here, I still have to keep checking my dictionary am I spelling right. However, I want to stay in Australia, here is much better than Hong Kong for live and work, work in Hong Kong is too hard and don't get good paid. For my future, I know I have to bite down English!
1 person likes this
@suedarr (2382)
• Canada
28 Dec 06
Thank you for sharing your experience with this language and adding to this discussion.