Saturday Silliness: The English Language

[There has been some controversy about the new translation of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal into English.  One thing both sides agree on is that English is a tricky language to learn.  I want to celebrate this Silly Saturday with a salute to this language about which George Bernard Shaw observed: “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” First up is a list of only a few of many examples of how the same letters need to be pronounced differently.  Next, are two short videos of the same song thatchy have popped into your head as it did mine.   The first is a short video where the students were to create s using only type fonts. The second is longer version of this great George and Ira Gershwin song.]

You think English is easy??

01) The bandage was wound around the wound.
02) The farm was used to produce produce.
03) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
04) We must polish the Polish furniture.
05) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
06) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
07) Since there is no time like the present,
he thought it was time to present the present..
08) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
09) 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?


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
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2 Responses to Saturday Silliness: The English Language

  1. Great fun, Fr. Paul. When teaching English as a second language, I told my confused students that this is what we call “crazy English”! A great place to enjoy more fun with the language is on Public Radio’s website, Away With Words. I enjoy it as a free podcast. Please check it out.

    ‘Love your blog and plan to respond to previous topics when events slow down a bit.
    Blessings, Sandy

  2. Donna Taylor says:

    I appreciate what Sandy said, too, about NPR’s Away with Words…….

    When we lived in student housing in Davis, California, one of my neighbors from another country who was deep into learning English past by me when I was outside by my “front” door–where the bike rack was—She pointed to the bike with a perplexed look on her face and said, “The brakes are broke!”

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