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> English: Asylum for the verbally insane?

Guest Bronwyn

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Guest Bronwyn

English: Asylum for the verbally insane?

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Let's begin with a box where 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 can never be meese.

There's one little mouse or a nest full of mice,

Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man can only be men,

Then the plural of pan should surely be pen.

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet ,then I give you a boot,

should a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?

So one may be that, and three would be those,

But hat in the plural would never be hose, and the plural of cat is

cats and not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

As the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, so the feminine ones

should be she, shis and shim!

Let's face it, English is a crazy language.

There's no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger;

there's neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins did not originate in England.

And when we further explore the 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 yet play at a


We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.

We have noses that run and feet that smell.

And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise

man and a wise guy are almost opposites?

You have to marvel at the 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.

So if Father is Pop, how come Mother isn't Mop?

And that's just the beginning - even though this is the end.

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Good one Bron,

Gets a bit confusing doesn't it!

My son at 3 could speak both English and Afrikaans and he used to pronounce English words in Afrikaans like ant and broom and bone! We still tease him about it.


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excellent Bron,

Now I understand why it seemed like the English commentators were describing a different game of Rugby to the one I was watching on Sat/Sunday


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Good one, Bron!

I guess that's why Aussies say you've got "fat chance, slim chance and Buckley's chance" for the same thing.

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