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Did You Ever Wonder Why????

posted 3/11/2010 7:13:34 PM |
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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 or French fries 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?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through 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 on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and 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?

Have 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 combobulated, gruntled, 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 it 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.

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Mar 11 @ 8:05PM  
Eggplants were called eggplants because the first Euro cultivations of them (after they realized that despite being related to nightshade they were not toxic) were yellow-white in color and the shape of eggs.

Many Euro nations refer to the "hamburger" as a "beefburger", thereby providing disambiguation. Genuine Hamburger sausages are actually a currywurst.

English muffins are, indeed, American inventions that were meant to copy the crumpet.

French fries were the Americanized name given to pomme frites, which are Belgian and not French.

I guess the point is that everything comes from something, and there is always a story behind it. Provided you're willing to look a little deeper.

Mar 11 @ 8:47PM  
American english has more words that make less sense due to their being adopted from other languages. Not to detract from the humor of the blog, but hamburger is actually a german word meaning "of hamburg." Mostly used to refer to the people of hamburg, it can be used for anything that comes from the city of hamburg. I have a friend that is technically a Frankfurter. Weiner is german for from Vienna, which means there, wiener and vienna suasages are the same thing.

The irony is that I have heard many people here in the US say they just want a "good old American hot dog or hamburger." Neither are from here originally, though I suppose you can argue they wanted the American version.

What gets me more then the grammar uses of words in English, is the accents and pronunciations for regions to region, and country to country. The one that cracks me up the most is roof, and root. I asked someone from the north once how they said the word roof. They responded by saying: RUF. I asked them about root, and the answer: RUT. So I asked about boot.... and the curious northerner said: boot. So why is it RUF and RUT, but not BUT? Something I haven't gotten an answer to yet.

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Did You Ever Wonder Why????