The craziness of the English language

I have just received an email outlining these mysteries of the English language:

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 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 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.



“And we never had a whole Mars bar 

until 1993″!!! 



BORN IN THE 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s 
First, we survived being born to mothers 

who smoked and/or drank Sherry while 

they carried us and lived in houses made 

of asbestos…
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, bread 

and dripping, raw egg products, loads of 

bacon and processed meat, tuna from a 

can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or 

cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cots were

covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles,

doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes,

we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, 

the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no 

seat belts or air bags.
We drank water from the garden hose and 

NOT from a bottle.
Take away food was limited to fish and chips, 

no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway 

or Nandos.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm 

and didn’t open on a Sunday, somehow we 

didn’t starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, 

from one bottle and NO ONE actually died 

from this.
We could collect old drink bottles and cash them

in at the corner store and buy Toffees, Gobstoppers

and Bubble Gum.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter,milk 

from the cow,and drank soft drinks with sugar in it,

but we weren’t overweight because……

We would leave home in the morning and play all 

day, as long as we were back when the streetlights 

came on.
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were 

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of 

old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out 

we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens 

and played in river beds with matchbox cars.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes,

no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY , no 

video/dvd films, or colour TV, no mobile phones, no 

personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found 


We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and 

there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the 

worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns 

at Easter time….

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th 


We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked

on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends 

meet because we didn’t need to keep up with the Jones’s!

Not everyone made the rugby/football/cricket/netball 

team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with 

disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was

based on MERIT

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes 

and throw the blackboard rubber at us if they thought 

we weren’t concentrating .. 
We can string sentences together and spell and have 

proper conversations because of a good, solid three R’s 

Our parents would tell us to ask a stranger to help us 

cross the road. 
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law 

was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like

‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’ and ‘Ridge’ and ‘Vanilla’

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, 

and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL !

And YOU are one of them!
You might want to share this with others who have had 

the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the 

government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they 

will know how brave their parents were.
PS -The big type is because your eyes are not too good 

at your age anymore!


Ode to English

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
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 .

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?

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 folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive on a parkway.
And 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 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 goes off by going on.
And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?