Wednesday, 10 November 2010

The vagaries of the English language

I was sent this today and I thought it was worth sharing - see what you think!

Do you know why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?

It’s strange!

Let’s face it
English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

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 it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this observation,
It ends.

I'm not sure where this originated, hence no attribution, but if you should happen to know, tell me and I'll be happy to include it.


  1. Most languages have declinations but English has only one. It also has no natural future tense. So, we have lots of artificial forms to compensate. It's a Germanic language but you can't ignore the influence of the French, which makes our spelling ad hoc, for one thing.I'm going back to my hangover now ...

  2. I don't know about that, but I do know I'd hate to have to learn it as a foreign language. Let's face it, half the native speakers struggle with it! I'm going back to my glass of wine now... cheers! :)