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Friday, August 17, 2012


For today's Friday Funny, I decided to post an email I received quite some time ago. I'm one of many who gets frustrated when the voice on the phone asks us to... "press one for English."  We ARE in America, right? The place where we're supposed to already know how to speak English.  How many times have we mumbled under our breath... If you're going to live here, learn the language!  Well, maybe there's a really good reason why it's so difficult to comply with our request... take a look.
THIS IS GREAT!  This took a lot of work to put together... I think a retired English teacher was bored!
Read all the way to the end. This took a lot of work to put together!

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.

PS. - Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick' ?

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is  'UP.'
It's easy to understand  UP ,  meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake  UP  ?
At a meeting, why does a topic come  UP ?
Why do we speak  UP  and why are the officers  UP  for election and why is it  UP  to the secretary to write  UP  a report?
We call  UP  our friends.
And we use it to brighten  UP  a room, polish  UP  the silver; we warm  UP  the leftovers and clean  UP  the kitchen.
We lock  UP  the house and some guys fix  UP  the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir  UP  trouble, line  UP  for tickets, work  UP  an appetite, and think  UP  excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed  UP  is special .
A drain must be opened  UP  because it is stopped  UP .
We open  UP  a store in the morning but we close it  UP  at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed  UP  about  UP !
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of  UP ,  look the word  UP  in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes  UP  almost 1/4th of the page and can add  UP  to about thirty definitions.
If you are  UP  to it, you might try building  UP  a list of the many ways  UP  is used.
It will take  UP  a lot of your time, but if you don't give  UP ,  you may wind  UP  with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding  UP .
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things  UP .
When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry  UP .

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it  UP ,
for now my time is  UP ,
so.........it is time to shut  UP !


Trobairitz said...

Why do we drive on a parkway and park in a driveway?

I am so glad I learned English first. I'd hate to be a non-English speaker trying to learn it as an adult.

Now if only people would speak proper English and not so much Americanized slang. But, I guess English (American English) itself has evolved since the time of the Pilgrims.

SonjaM said...

Wait a minute, let's start from the beginning... "The place where we're supposed to already know how to speak English."

As a second language speaker who has learned British English, who lives in Canada, where they speak Canadian English, and works for a New Zealand Company where they speak Kiwi English I would say the language your are speaking is called American English.

There are so many differences depending on the origin of the native speaker.
E.g. I have a friend (he is from London, GB) that has a hard time making himself understood while amongst North Americans.

Thank you, this post just made my day.

Lady R (Di) said...


We have "culturally altered" the English language so badly over the decades, it's amazing we still can understand each other!

Lady R

Lady R (Di) said...


I stand corrected... American English! (Which is probably more butchered up than any of the others.)

I'm glad you liked the post. After looking at all these variances to our language, I have a deeper sympathy for those trying to learn it.

Lady R

Jack Riepe said...

Dear Lady R:

Preachers do praught. Don't ever stand behind one if they've been eating radishes.

About two weeks until my new book is released.

Fondest regards,