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It's just as the name implies........................

English Language Quirks




You Think English is Easy???


Can you read these right the first time?

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

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

4) We must polish the Polish furniture.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) Since there is no time like the present , he thought it was time to present the present .

8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.

11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.

15) A seamstress and a sewer  fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.

19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

 20) 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; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, 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, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? 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 English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?


      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.


      English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.


      PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"


      You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.


      There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."


      It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?


      We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.


      And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.


      We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used it will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP , you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP


      When it rains, it wets the earth and often mess's things UP

      When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP .


      We could go on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP, so... Time to shut UP!


      Oh... one more thing:

      What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?






"butter" and "margarine"


Holiday cooking is sure to include butter and/or margarine. The latter

is, of course, a much more recent invention than the former. Around

1813, French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreuil was analyzing fatty acids.

He isolated one and named it "margaric acid" due to the pearly luster

of its granules. (The Greek word for "pearl" is "margarites". The name

"Margaret" is another derivative.) The chemical term was, in time,

discarded, but Chevreuil's nomenclature was preserved in the term for a

butter substitute invented, in 1869, by another French scientist,

Hippolyte Mege-Mouries. 


The Greek word "bouturon" became the Latin "butyrum" which was adopted

into Old English as "butere". The Greek word may have come from

combining "bous" ("cow") and "turos" ("cheese"). But since the earliest

forms of the Greek word don't reflect this explanation, the Greeks may

have obtained the word from the Scythians. The Scythians were noted

butter-lovers, but neither the Greeks nor Romans, once acquainted with

it, were fond of butter. Olive oil was used to moisten bread and in

cooking. Eating butter was seen as something rather barbaric. (The

Greeks used the term "butyrophagoi" -- "butter-eaters" - to describe

the Thracians.) Butter was, however, used by the Greeks as an ointment--

Hippocrates used it to treat burns--and sometimes as a divine offering.

Romans also used butter medicinally and as a beauty product for skin

and hair. 


Margarine became more popular with U.S. consumers than butter during

the 1950s and remains so. But it took some serious battling with butter

to get there. When margarine was introduced in the 1870s to the United

States, its manufacturers and vendors did not always make it clear

their less expensive product was not butter. Spurred by such deceptive

practices, and the desire to protect their up-until-then exclusive

market, the dairy industry fought margarine with labeling laws and

taxation. The most effective anti-margarine tool was forbidding the

addition of yellow artificial coloring to the naturally white

margarine. Manufacturers eventually began to supply food-coloring that

could be kneaded into margarine before serving it. 


Butter shortages during the first World War increased margarine's use;

the Depression saw more pro-dairy legislation and an increase in butter

consumption. World War II brought margarine back onto American tables

and most restrictions gradually erased. 



reek / wreak / wreck


*Reek*, as a noun, means "a strong offensive odor; a stench; or vapor,

steam, or smoke." (The fire died out and left the ruins reeking.) 


As a verb, *reek* means "to emit or be pervaded by something

unpleasant; to give off smoke, fumes, warm vapor, steam, etc." It

sometimes is used synonymously with smack, meaning to have an element

suggestive (of something). (This reeks of foul play.) The meanings

related to vapor, steam, smoke, etc. seem to be disappearing, although

that connotation was the original. (The fire died out and left the

ruins reeking.) 


*Wreak* is also pronounced reek. You usually hear it in the phrase

"wreak havoc". (That phrase, by the way, was first used by Agatha

Christie in 1923.) *Wreak* in this sense of "bringing about, causing"

is often confused with *wreck*, which means "to ruin by or as if by

violence" (verb) and (noun) "the action of wrecking; the fact or state

of being wrecked; or the ruins left by wreaking." Wreaking destruction

may leave a wreck. Storms, unruly children, invading armies,

pollutants, and the like wreak havoc they do not wreck it. 


New Proposed Language Change


European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become 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 "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one 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 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl.



A little trivia information
 Stewardesses"   is the longest word typed with only the left hand ..

  And "lollipop" is the longest word typed with your right hand.   (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
Our eyes  are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.


The words 'racecar,'   'kayak'   and 'level'   are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).  

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."

TYPEWRITER    is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.    

A goldfish  has a memory span of three seconds.

A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
A shark   is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
A snail  can sleep for three years.  

Almonds are a member of the peach   family.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
Newborn babies are born without kneecaps.  They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
Leonardo Da
Vinci invented the scissors

  Peanuts  are one of the ingredients of dynamite!

Rubber bands
last longer when refrigerated.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.

The cruise liner, QE 2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
The microwave    was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.  
The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls   froze completely froze solid.

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Now you know more than you did before!!




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