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
French fries didn’t begin 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,
hat 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.
[Funny Times is a humor magazine with cartoons and columnists that make you laugh, moan, scream and cry. They are kind enough to allow me to reprint the occasional cartoon. Of course, humor — like beauty — is often in the eye or ear of the beholder. http://www.funnytimes.com]