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Message de mariet posté le 2004-07-06 21:53:56 (S | E | F | I)
English is a Crazy Language

An Excerpt from the Introduction, by Richard Lederer

----------------------------------------------------

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 blouse, 2 blice?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? 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? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

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? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a "slim chance" and a "fat chance" be the same, while a "wise man" and "wise guy" are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while "quite a lot" and "quite a few" are alike? How can the weather be "hot as hell" one day and "cold as hell" another?

Have you noticed 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 run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who are spring chickens or who would actually hurt a fly?

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 clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

Now I know why I flunked my English. It's not my fault, the silly language doesn't quite know whether it's coming or going.

found on
http://web.mit.edu/afs/athena/user/w/c/wchuang/www/humor/college/English_is_Crazy.html


Réponse: re mariet from minouche15 de minouche15, postée le 2004-07-07 00:26:48 (S | E)
I had fun ... I really enjoyed reading this humorous topic . However I had to open my dictionary often enough, but it was an excellent exercise of vocabulary . I'm not sure of having all understand , but a good night will help me .


How translate : "la nuit porte conseil" ?


good night and see you soon .


Réponse: re to Mariet de caz9, postée le 2004-07-07 12:49:34 (S | E)
what a brilliant topic - even I had a good laugh!!! It will make good reading practise for those learning English. Do you have anything like this in French and about the French language??


Réponse: to caz de mariet, postée le 2004-07-07 12:55:46 (S | E)
I've found a new one about English last night. I think I might have one about French ... but I'll have to search my notes and I'm so untidy, it will take some time.
Meanwhile I've got news for you : exercices in French have been released and the first one I'll write will be about y/en.




Réponse: re to Mariet de caz9, postée le 2004-07-07 13:00:54 (S | E)
Good I always find the use of y/en difficult. Let me know when they're online. Also I have difficulty with celui/celle and lequel/lesquels etc - some more ideas of exercises to do!! Just trying to keep you busy Mariet;)


Réponse: to caz9 de mariet, postée le 2004-07-07 18:52:51 (S | E)
Before there is a more appropriate way to reach it click on this link :
https://www.tolearnfrench.com/cgi2/myexam/index.php


Réponse: WHY... de mariet, postée le 2004-07-08 16:01:00 (S | E)
If you liked the first one, you'll probably like this one too...

Why English is a crazy language
(by Kathryn L. Schmitz - Department of English National Technical Institute for the Deaf Rochester Institute of Technology NY)

Here are some rhetorical questions that help show how English words may have many different meanings, depending on how they are used.

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?

If people from Poland are Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

When someone asks you, "A penny for your thoughts", and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

Why is a person who plays the piano a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

"I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted,, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

What hair color do they put on the driver's license of bald men?

I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older, then it dawned on me...they're cramming for their final exam.

I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?


Réponse: re à mariet et minouche15 de leebenseng, postée le 2004-07-20 06:51:37 (S | E)
Hi, mariet, I like both of them, they are outraaaaaageous, especially the first one.

Hi, minouche15, I think "la nuit porte conseil" can be translated as "to sleep on it".

leebenseng




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