The English Language
Asylum for the Verbally Insane

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,
Why 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 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
and play at a recital? 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 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.

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

And that is just the beginning--
even though this is the end!
 




HUMOR FOR LEXOPHILES (LOVERS OF WORDS):

 

I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger. Then it hit me.
Police were called to a day care where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the guy whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.
The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference.
The butcher backed up into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his Work.
To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
When fish are in schools they sometimes take debate.
The short fortune teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at Large.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
A thief fell and broke his leg in wet cement. He became a hardened Criminal.
Thieves who steal corn from a garden could be charged with stalking.
We'll never run out of math teachers because they always multiply.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
The math professor went crazy with the blackboard. He did a number on it.
The professor discovered that her theory of earthquakes was on shaky Ground.
The dead batteries were given out free of charge.
If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog your memory.
A dentist and a manicurist fought tooth and nail.
A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
A will is a dead giveaway.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
A backward poet writes inverse.
In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France, resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.
You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
A calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
A boiled egg is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture: a jab well done.
Here are some definitions that perhaps ought to replace the ones we have in our usual dictionaries.


CIGARETTE:
A pinch of tobacco rolled in paper with fire at one end and a fool at the other!

MARRIAGE:
It's an agreement wherein a man loses his bachelor degree and a woman gains her master

DIVORCE:
Future Tense of Marriage

LECTURE:
An art of transmitting Information from the notes of the lecturer to the notes of students without passing through the minds of either

CONFERENCE:
The confusion of one man multiplied by the number present

COMPROMISE:
The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece

TEARS:
The hydraulic force by which masculine will power is defeated by feminine water-power!

DICTIONARY:
The only place where divorce comes before marriage

CONFERENCE ROOM:
A place where everybody talks, nobody listens and everybody disagrees later on

ECSTASY:
A feeling when you feel you are going to feel a feeling you have never felt before

CLASSIC:
A book which people praise, but never read

SMILE:
A curve that can set a lot of things straight!

OFFICE:
A place where you can relax after your strenuous home life

YAWN:
The only time when some married men ever get to open their mouth

ETC:
A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do

COMMITTEE:
Individuals who can do nothing individually and sit to decide that nothing can be done together

EXPERIENCE:
The name men give to their Mistakes

ATOM BOMB:
An invention to bring an end to all inventions

PHILOSOPHER:
A fool who torments himself during life, to be spoken of when dead

DIPLOMAT:
A person who tells you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip

OPPORTUNIST:
A person who starts taking bath if he accidentally falls into a river

OPTIMIST:
A person who while falling from EIFFEL TOWER says in midway "SEE I AM NOT INJURED YET!"

PESSIMIST:
A person who says that O is the last letter in ZERO, instead of the first letter in OPPORTUNITY

MISER:
A person who lives poor so that he can die RICH!

FATHER:
A banker provided by nature

CRIMINAL:
A guy no different from the other, unless he gets caught

BOSS:
Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early

POLITICIAN:
One who shakes your hand before elections and your Confidence Later

DOCTOR:
A person who kills your ills by pills, and kills you


Here is an example of the complexity of English

Professor Ernest Brennecke of Columbia is credited with inventing a sentence that can be made to have eight different meanings by placing ONE WORD in all possible positions in the sentence:
"I hit him in the eye yesterday."

The word is "ONLY".


The Message:
1.ONLY I hit him in the eye yesterday. (No one else did.)
2.I ONLY hit him in the eye yesterday. (Did not slap him.)
3.I hit ONLY him in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit others.)
4.I hit him ONLY in the eye yesterday. (I did not hit outside the eye.)
5.I hit him in ONLY the eye yesterday. (Not other organs.)
6.I hit him in the ONLY eye yesterday. (He doesn't have another eye..)
7.I hit him in the eye ONLY yesterday. (Not today.)
8.I hit him in the eye yesterday ONLY. (Did not wait for today.)


This is the beauty and complexity of the English language.


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