12/29/08

Wound Around the Wound?

If you've read the previous post (from 12/27), you know the English language intrigues me. At least, the American English version intrigues me. In fact, I've written about the funny way we write and speak quite a few times, including the following about strange words. (http://blondesherry.blogspot.com/2008/04/we-speak-funny-language.html.)

That's why I especially appreciate the following e-mail from Tony. Hope you enjoy it also. It's a wonder we're able to communicate, isn't it?

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. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
12. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
13. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
14. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
15. They were too close to the door to close it.
16. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
17. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
18. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
19. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
20. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
21. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

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? 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, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

3 comments:

La Dolce Vita with LeAnn said...

To fun...the content of your post made me content! Thanks for stopping by my spot. I love your blog and hope to visit often in 2009. Blessings

PEA said...

Hi Sherry:-)

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment...I always enjoy meeting new people. Yup, that's me, the blonde in my sidebar! lol I've been told many times I don't look my age and people are surprised when I tell them I have a 30 year old and 27 year old sons:-) Believe me, some days I really do feel my age! lol

Happy New Year to you and yours, hope to see you again:-) xox

Sherry said...

La Dolce Vita with LeAnn: Hey, that's great with "content." Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll visit often.

PEA: So, that really is you. Wow, how youthful!

 
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