Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain
Excerpt from The Sunday Times. Review. Page 27. July 27 2003.
- The bandage was wound around the wound
- The farm was used to produce produce
- The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert
- Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes
- The insurance was invalid for the invalid
- There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row
- They were too close to the door to close it
- A seamtress and a sewer fell into a sewer
- The wind was too storng to wind the sail
- After a number of injections my jaw got number.
- Upon seeing the tear in the painting i shed a tear.
- I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
- How can i intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; and neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France
And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If teachers taught, why don't preachers praught? And if Dad is Pop, how come Mom isn't Mop?
The plural of box is boxes, but the pluarl of ox is oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the pluarl of moose should bever 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, men, why shouldn't the plural of pan be pen? If I spoke 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 beeth?
We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren. If the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, why aren't the feminine she, shis and shim?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you can comb through annals of history but not a single annal?
Sometimes, I think all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. What other person could there be for saying that people recite at a play aned play at a recital. Or ship cargo by truck and send cargo by ship. Or have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man a wise guy 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 ever seen a horseful carraige or a strapful gown? Or met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Haved you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who are indeed 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 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.