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Off topic: Now I know why I flunked my English!
Thread poster: Esperanza Gallegos
Esperanza Gallegos
Local time: 02:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 4, 2003

I know this has been around for a while, but I came accross it today and I couldn't resist posting it. Enjoy!
P.S. Does anyone know who the author is?
************************

Crazy English


Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins were not 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, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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 a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day an cold as hell another?

When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

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.


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 10:12
Bosnian to French
+ ...
:-) Sep 4, 2003

EXCELLENT!!!!!


SARAJ


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xxxT_Herrmann  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:12
German to English
+ ...
In the U.S. Sep 5, 2003

Why do we drive on parkways, and park on driveways???



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Rossana Triaca  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 06:12
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
If I´m not mistaken... Sep 5, 2003


P.S. Does anyone know who the author is?


The author is one Richard Lederer, and what you posted is just an excerpt from the introduction of his book "Crazy English". The full intro is even more funny than the excerpt (and much longer, obviously), but the book itself is rather disappointing since it gets stuck halfway between a comedy and a real grammar book, succeeding at neither.

[Edited at 2003-09-06 10:37]


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xxxTransflux
Local time: 10:12
French to English
+ ...
The language of Shakespeare Sep 5, 2003

Esperanza Gallegos wrote:

I know this has been around for a while, but I came accross it today and I couldn't resist posting it. Enjoy!
P.S. Does anyone know who the author is?
************************

Crazy English


Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins were not 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, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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 a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as hell one day an cold as hell another?

When a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on.

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.


Isn't that just called figurative language? Are you telling me that other languages don't have similar "inconsistencies"? Or is this what makes English the most "colourful" language in the world?


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Alina Matei  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 19:42
English to Romanian
+ ...
yes ;) Sep 5, 2003

Hamnet wrote:

Isn't that just called figurative language? Are you telling me that other languages don't have similar "inconsistencies"? Or is this what makes English the most "colourful" language in the world?



Ok, the brits want us to get serious Don't lose that all-precious sense of humour


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ChristinaT
Local time: 10:12
English to German
+ ...
...another one! Sep 6, 2003

I just wanted to add to the list:

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

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

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

Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

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?


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Laura Vinti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
German to Italian
+ ...
Thank you for posting this...! Sep 6, 2003

I had read this before, but I find it irresistible every time I read it.
And it is not so enjoyable because it exposes the inconsistencies of the English language (all languages have them), but because it is brilliantly written!


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:12
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Vocabulary enhancements Sep 6, 2003

A backward poet writes inverse.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.

Practice safe eating - always use condiments.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.

What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.

She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg, but broke it off.

A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.

You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.

He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

Every calendar's days are numbered.

A lot of money is tainted - It taint yours and it taint mine.

A boiled egg in the morning is hard to beat.

He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

A plateau is a high form of flattery.

A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.

Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

Once you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Those who jump off a Paris bridge are in Seine.

Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat
------------------


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Laura Vinti  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:12
German to Italian
+ ...
Wow Jack... Sep 8, 2003

...where did you get them all?

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Esperanza Gallegos
Local time: 02:12
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
These are wonderful! Sep 8, 2003

Thanks for posting them Jack!

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Rebekka Groß  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:12
English to German
Fab, Jack Sep 8, 2003

I laughed out loud several times - thanks for posting these! Do you mind if I copy them and send them on to some friends of mine?

Still wiping tears of laughter,
sparkie


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