Unapologetic progressive. Fearless activist. Plucky liberal.

This is a compilation of essays found on the web. Credit is given where it can be.

Why English is the hardest language to learn

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full it had to refuse more refuse.

4. There is no time like the present, so he thought he would present
the present.

5. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

6. She did not object to the object.

7. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

8. The oarsmen had a row about how to row.

9. She was too close to the door to close it.

10. A stag does strange things when the does are present.

11. After a number of injections my jaw became number.

12. The artist saw a tear in her painting and shed a tear.

13. She had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

14. An army chef decided to desert her dessert in the desert.

The Euro Language

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phase-in plan that would be known as “Euro-English.”

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c.” Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of the”k.” This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have 1 less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f.” This will make words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be ekspekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e”s in the language is disgraseful, and they should go away.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v.” During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru! And zen ve vil tak over ze world!

Language (And Other Questions)

Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?

Why is it called “rush hour” when your car barely moves?

If a 7-Eleven is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?

If it’s a circular drive, how do you get out?

How do “Don’t Walk on the Grass” signs get there?

Why does sour cream have a “use by” date?

If olive oil comes from olives, where does baby oil come from?

If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?

If we find life on Mars, will it taste like chicken?

When a bug hits your windshield, what determines the color of the spatter?

If it was only a three-hour tour, why did Gilligan, the Skipper and everyone else have all that stuff?

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station . . .

If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

If quitters never win, and winners never quit, what fool came up with “Quit while you’re ahead”?

Do Lipton employees take coffee breaks?

What hair color do they put on the driver’s licenses of bald men?

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans.

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do . . . write to them? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen could look for them while they delivered the mail?

Should you ever have plastic surgery from a doctor whose office is full of portraits by Picasso?

If it’s true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

Can you yell “Movie!” in a crowded fire station?

What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

ONLY THE ENGLISH COULD HAVE INVENTED THIS LANGUAGE

We’ll begin with a box, and 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 should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

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.
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 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 and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And 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.

And, in closing, if Father is Pop,  how come Mother’s not Mop?

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