26.4.11

English - Confusing Language


The following came into my inbox a couple of days ago... courtesy of my cousin Kak Mah.... enjoy!(especially to those who have mastered this rather "unruly" language)



AN ODE OF ENGLISH PLURALS

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never 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 called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak 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 called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

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 .
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?
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 folks who grew up speaking English
Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And 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.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?  



I must admit that after more than 20 years of writing, mostly in English, I've yet to master the language. More often than not I still find myself  at loss and still got it all wrong, gramatically that is.
But that's English language for you and that's why I have my utmost respect to those who are able to pen and write beautiful words and sentences in English --- you know people like JK Rowlings and Rick Riordan and Meg Cabot (yes I read Princess Diaries series, sue me!).
Then there're bloggers who write not only in good perfect English but at the same time also funny and intelligently too. I aspire to become one.
However, I cannot stomach atrocious English (and BM too, for that matter) and you can find these kind of writings mostly in blogs. Although I applaud their effort to write in English, I simply can't tolerate repetitive errors which are mostly pretty basic (certain blogs spring to my mind as I write this .....teeeheeee) and even more unbearable is the fact that they think (the bloggers, I mean) they are so good already - its all over in their entries (them being so cool and all). I tell you if you want to raise your blood pressure fast, just read a couple of their entries .... its that bad.

And, tell me, why am I rambling on about this????????

3 comments:

Yang Safia said...

hi ayah ngah!

based from what i know about english,
english is essentially a germanic language. the changes we see on certain words cn be quite confusing why it's not like this or that bcoz of its etymology (history of the word). i used to wonder jugak but after learning middle english (bhse older lg dari shakespearean times), it makes sense why it becomes what it is today. n also english has a lot of french influence so that is another factor jugak.

:)

Mior Azhar said...

really, Safia? Thanks, I learn somethin today but does this mean German and French are even older languages?

Yang Safia said...

yup. dat explains why bck in the day french ppl look down on english becoz they consider it a mutt language. its spoken by the lower class. its a hybrid of german and other languages so mcm x pure la dr mata dorang.