Monday, April 26, 2010

How well do you know the English language?

An ode of English Plurals

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 three 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 in 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?*


  1. I deeply apologise for not writing earlier, as I was busy in some urgent work. But, now, I am back with full force to learn more English.

    How are you Ms. Vanessa? I hope that you have not forgotten me.

  2. Hi to everybody in the Class. I was away for one year and now I have returned. I am from India, Delhi.




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