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Thread: The Lunacy of the English Language

  1. #1
    P/T Pagan God thepieman's Avatar
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    The Lunacy of the English Language

    Maybe a repost but I thought it was worth posting

    why are we screwed? cause the english language is screwy

    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. 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. 1 After a number of injections my jaw got number.
    19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
    20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    21) 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.

    P.S. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"

    if the present tense of taught is teach, should the present tense of bought be beach?

    I second this motion in a second.
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  2. #2
    Elite Member Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepieman
    Maybe a repost but I thought it was worth posting
    It is, but still amusing.

    Gotta give credit to anyone who has to learn English (or even "American") as a second or third language...

  3. #3
    Certified SG Addict Brent's Avatar
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    i feel sorry for those that didn't grow up learning English, but need to learn it as a second language

    it sure isn't an easy language to learn from what i hear


    i want to learn Japanese, but that seems very foreign and hard to me

    but i'm sure English is very foreign and hard to Japanese

  4. #4
    P/T Pagan God thepieman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent


    i feel sorry for those that didn't grow up learning English, but need to learn it as a second language

    it sure isn't an easy language to learn from what i hear


    i want to learn Japanese, but that seems very foreign and hard to me

    but i'm sure English is very foreign and hard to Japanese
    It must be hard for people to learn especially since they dont have the same letters or sounds that we do. For example, Arabs have no letter P ,so to them Parking the car would be "Barking the car" or O's , Locking the door would be "licking the door" (Yes I had lots of fun teasing my mom and other arabs over the years) , Asians have the same ...I think its R's tho, and Philipino's have no hard F sounds (ph), they would say they were "prom the Pilipines", The Russians have no hard V sound and would say "wery good" (Very)... it takes some people that are not born here years to learn and even then they still find it hard to grasp. The only way usually is when they come here as children , they can usually get the hang of it.
    I have a fun time when my friends ask me to say words in arabic and because we have no "Gutteral" cccchhhhh (Like when ur gathering spit from the back of your throat) sounds in our language it usually comes out sounding pretty pathetic.


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  5. #5
    Disciple of Doom SeedOfChaos's Avatar
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    Pfff, you guys don't even know how easy you have it! TBH, I think English is by far simpler than either German or Dutch. We've got the exact same problems as you listed above, plus plenty more, I'll get to that in a second. The only thing that makes English in particular somewhat difficult to learn is the deranged link between spelling and pronounciation. In German, it's exactly defined how to translate letters into sound. Exception of course are a couple of foreign words that have been assimilated into the language. Let me show you by examples part of what makes German so difficult.

    In German we have different cases, and different articles, depending on the case (something you aren't even aware of, probably) and gender. With "case" I mean stuff like your genitiv, the 's if something is used as possessive (the man's car). We additionally have dativ and accusativ. Examples:

    Nominative: Der Mann hat ein Auto (the man has a car)
    Genitive: Das Auto des Mannes (the man's car)
    Dative: Das Auto fährt über den Mann (the car is driving over the man)
    Accusative: Das Auto hat dem Mann Verletzungen zugefügt (the car injured the man)

    As you can see, "der Mann", "des Mannes", "den Mann", and "dem Mann" all translate into "the man". Add different insanity for plural. For females, for example, is different. In English, replace "man" with "woman", and you're set. In German, however, it becomes:

    Die Frau hat ein Auto
    Das Auto der Frau
    Das Auto fährt über die Frau
    Das Auto hat der Frau Verletzungen zugefügt

    Add to that that the gender of a noun isn't always as logical as in English. While a table is clearly neutral in English (it), it's masculine in German (der Tisch). Nouns can change their gender if in a different form. Especially with "minimization" (? not sure if this is the correct linguistic term). Der Mann vs. das Männchen (Männchen means small man).

    Add to that that usually a noun changes a lot more when put into plural. Das Haus, die Häuser (the house, the houses).

    Add to that that German sentence structure is much more loose than the English one. Meaning you can order the words in MANY ways, and still get a correct sentence. It's the articles and wordforms that designate how the words relate to each other. The order of the words changes the emphasis of the sentence, not how the words relate to each other. It's not completely arbitrary, so you can go just changing the words around just like that either.

    Ich gehe jetzt nach Hause. (I am going home now, emphasis on who's going home now)
    Jetzt gehe ich nach Hause. (I am going home now, emphasis on when I'm going home)
    Nach Hause gehe ich jetzt. (I am going home now, emphasis on where I'm going now)

    Trust me, as a second language English is bliss compared to either German or Dutch.
    Last edited by SeedOfChaos; 11-29-04 at 10:19 AM. Reason: Added italics to designate German
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  6. #6
    P/T Pagan God thepieman's Avatar
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    Thats why in High School I took Spanish instead of German. Wasn't gonna touch it. The majority of my friends in Germany do speak very good english, and some of them just picked it up without taking it in school.

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  7. #7
    R.I.P. 2015-05-13 minir's Avatar
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    Hi thepieman


    Thanks for the Fun Stuff

    ---

    regards

    minir

  8. #8
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    Ya german is pretty hard to learn. The serbian/whatever mix that bosnians speak isnt too bad. Polish seems pretty easy too.

  9. #9
    MadDoctor Club Spammy's Avatar
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    I was like saying both words the same way lol ..
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