June 20, 2006


Let's face it English is a weird language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor or pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbread, 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, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, 2 indeces?
If teachers taught, why don't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

In what language do people recite a play and play a recital? Ship by a 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 a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few alike? How can weather be as hot as hell one day and as cold as hell another?

You have to marvel at the 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.
People, not computers, invented English and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which is not a race at all). That is why, when the stars come out, they ar 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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