English is a crazy language!
There's 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
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, two geese. So one moose,
two meese? One index, two indices?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that
you comb through the annals of history but not a single annal? 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 preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats
vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter,
perhaps you bote your tongue?
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? Park on driveways and drive
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man
and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be
opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the
weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
How you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are
absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown?
Met a sung hero or experienced requited love?
Have you ever run into someone who was dis-combobulated, grunted, ruly
or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens
or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?
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 out and in which an alarm clock 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 why, when I wind up my watch,
I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it!