Thursday, June 14, 2012

English Can Be Difficult

English is a very difficult language to learn. I found this amongst some things and thought some of you might enjoy it, particularly those of you for whom English is not your first language. I compliment you on learning English, where often the very same word can be pronounced differently depending on context.

Same Word, Different Pronunciation:

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
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.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance waas 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.
The buck does funny things when the does are present.
A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong 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?

Things That Make You Think:

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 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?

Opposites That Don't Attract:

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.
A slim chance and a fat chance are the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites.
Your house can burn up as it burns down; you fill in a form by filling it out; and an alarm goes off by going on.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
Buick doesn't rhyme with quick.
We drive on a parkway and park on a driveway.
The English language is clearly out of whack... except what is a whack - and how do we get it IN whack?
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