Monday, February 4, 2008

The Complications of English

Let's face it, sometimes - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or 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.
Why poor, book, and door are pronounced differently?We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes,we find that quicks and 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 boothbeeth?
One goose, 2 geese.
So why not one moose, 2 meese?
One index, 2 indices?
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? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for being 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?

How can to overlook and to oversee be opposites; while quite a lot and quite a few, are alike?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 whichyour house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in aform by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.

People, not computers, invented English 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 really end it.