neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England
or French fries in France.
Sweetmeats are candies
which aren't sweet,
Let us face it:
English is a stupid language.
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?
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
Or, 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 the teacher taught, why didn't the preacher praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what the heck does a humanitarian eat?
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?
Ship by truck and send cargo by ship?
Why English is So Tough
(For advanced students only)
See if you can work these out. Consult your dictionary for homonyms, homographs, homophones and what not. ".......... and what not" = "bilmem daha neler neler" anlamında bir deyiştir.
Answers will NOT be supplied -- Active learning is the best learning.
01. Can you convert the following sentence into the present tense? "Since there would be no time like the present to present the present, the present had to be presented there and then."
02. No wise camel would desert its dessert in the middle of the desert.
03. He took a shot at the dove and the dove dove into the bushes.
04. Does the buck eye the does or do the does eye the buck?
05. The city dump was so full that the authorities had to refuse more refuse.
06. The curator cried a tear when he saw a tear in the picture of the boy with a tear in his eye..
07. Unfortunately this insurance is invalid for the invalid.
08. We spent half the evening evening out a wobbly table and the other half evening out the creases on the bed covers. Bunu çözebilene şapka çıkarırım. Gerçekten tebrikler...
09. Sewers are no places for sewers to sew; nor a field of wild oats for a sow to sow his wild oats. [Check the expression, "to sow one's wild oats"]
10. The dentist gave me a number of injections and my jaw got number and number. Hadi, yine dayanamadım; bunun açıklamasını vereceğim: Tabii ki diş hekimi "bir dizi iğne" yaparsa, çenem giderek "daha da uyuşacaktır"...
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.
And that is why when I wind up my watch
But when I wind up this observation,
Here follows a new batch from From Practical English for Turks... [Oct., 2006]
Sometimes I think all the English speakers