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Author Topic: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)  (Read 6662 times)

odie

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Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« on: August 21, 2009, 09:59:53 am »
WHY ENGLISH IS SO HARD

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?

That's all for now.

Offline Hertzila

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009, 01:23:12 am »
Nice, where did you steal this?

odie

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009, 05:10:43 am »
Nice, where did you steal this?

Not steal ok, my dear, plagarise is the word. Lol.

No lar, its everywhere on the internet, and i saw this years ago, so i merely searched for it, googled and voila! :D


Offline Vio

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2009, 12:38:45 am »
Higgins:
Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter,
Condemned by every syllable she utters.
By right she should be taken out and hung,
For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue.

Eliza:
Aaoooww!

Higgins:
Aaoooww!
Heavens, what a noise!
This is what the British population,
Calls an elementary education.

Pickering:
Come, sir, I think you picked a poor example.

Higgins:
Did I?
Hear them down in Soho square,
Dropping "h's" everywhere.
Speaking English anyway they like.
You sir, did you go to school?

Man:
Wadaya tike me for, a fool?

Higgins:
No one taught him 'take' instead of 'tike'!

Hear a Yorkshireman, or worse,
Hear a Cornishman converse,
I'd rather hear a choir singing flat.
Chickens cackling in a barn!
Just like this one here.

Eliza:
Garn!

Higgins:
I ask you, sir, what sort of word is that?

It's "Aaoooww" and "Garn" that keep her in her place.
Not her wretched clothes and dirty face.

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
This verbal class distinction, by now,
Should be antique.
If you spoke as she does, sir,
Instead of the way you do,
Why, you might be selling flowers, too!

Pickering:
I beg your pardon!

Higgins: An Englishman's way of speaking absolutely classifies him.
The moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him.
One common language I'm afraid we'll never get,
Oh, why can't the English learn to

...set a good example to people whose
English is painful to your ears?
The Scots and the Irish leave you close to tears.
There even are places where English completely disappears.

In America, they haven't used it for years.

Why can't the English teach their children how to speak?
Norwegians learn Norwegian,
the Greeks are taught their Greek.
In France every Frenchman knows his language from "A" to "Zed"

The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce it properly...

Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning,
The Hebrews learn it backwards,
which is absolutely frightening.
But use proper English and you're regarded as a freak.

Why can't the English,
Why can't the English,
Learn To Speak?

  ;)

Offline Destructavator

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2009, 01:52:32 am »
English is a bit of a messed up language, partly I think because it is so widespread that there are so many variants of it that are inconsistent, including many dialects in various sub-cultures, etc.

I live in an American suburb, and if I drive for an hour in one direction, to downtown in the city, people there talk in such a different variant of English, I often have a hard time understanding them.  Heck, they even have a series of movements with the hands, quick and confusing to me, down in the inner city that they use instead of shaking hands.

If I drive in my car out in the other direction, I'm in the country, where many people wear cowboy hats and have their own "country-talk" which is also different than the type of English I'm used to.

In both cases, I've met people occasionally who know more than one dialect, and when they can tell where I'm from (which usually happens pretty quickly), they "switch gears" and can make themselves understandable to me.  Not that that's always the case, sometimes it gets difficult.

(Of course, there are derogatory slang terms all around for these different types of people and talk, but I'll decline to use them.)

What's also a problem is that in America many schools offer classes to learn other languages, but they don't require you to remember them too much or really shove them down your throat like in other countries.  I've heard that in some nations, English is a required course in school that you have to pass even if it isn't your first language.  Here in the U.S. it (meaning learning a foreign language) leans toward more of an optional thing, and isn't stressed as important.

Heck, for other languages I only know bits and pieces of German, but not enough to have a conversation in "real-time."  I'd have to write down every sentence I hear on paper and pick it apart slowly, then build a reply before speaking it.

Add to the equation the fact that other nations also speak their own form of English, and Americans sometimes have trouble understanding British or Australian English, and so forth.

I've heard a saying: "Americans and the British both speak English, but they don't speak the same language!"

« Last Edit: September 04, 2009, 01:55:57 am by Destructavator »

Offline Kaerius

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 12:39:26 am »
I'm swedish, and we have english as a required class in school from grade 7 and onwards.

Mind you I had an interest in english, and in computers, so by the time I was 13 and actually had to learn it in class, I was reading books in it for leisure(though I should warn folks that anything by Tolkien is a horrible pick for a first book to read in english, I found reading the hobbit like wadding through mud).

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, dry cleaners depressed, laundry workers decreased, bedmakers debunked, baseball players debased, landscapers deflowered, students degraded, teachers declassified, software engineers detested, and musical composers decomposed.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2009, 12:50:49 am by Kaerius »

Offline mutant

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2009, 12:53:31 pm »
This is a really interesting thread.
One thing that no doubt makes communication so much more difficult is the use of words that have completely different meanings to what is being conveyed.

For example, being intoxicated no one would use this term. Instead you would for example say you were, "hammered, sloshed, plastered, smashed, wasted" etc.

I imagine this making things terribly confusing.

Offline Destructavator

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2009, 03:14:50 am »
This is a really interesting thread.
One thing that no doubt makes communication so much more difficult is the use of words that have completely different meanings to what is being conveyed.

For example, being intoxicated no one would use this term. Instead you would for example say you were, "hammered, sloshed, plastered, smashed, wasted" etc.

I imagine this making things terribly confusing.

Yes, indeed its enough to make one vomit, throw up, puke, barf, up-chuck, ralph, blow chunks, hurl, spew, heave, splat, honk, arf, etc., etc., etc...  (This list doesn't even approach being complete, a complete list of such terms would be contrasensically long...)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 03:17:08 am by Destructavator »

Offline Vio

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2009, 12:11:18 am »
There is literature for that, though. It's called "Cursing in ...". :)

odie

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2009, 05:38:34 pm »
Hahahaha.....

English is a non-beautiful (or simply state, ugly.....) language. Lol.

Look at French - where everything (literally even tables and chairs and keyboards) has a gender..... every lingo, conjunctions, verbs tell u whether its the male / female (masculine or feminine) speaking, etc....

And beautifully written literature is ooooooooooooo everywhere but in english.
Even my chinese is 100000 times better.

U know, where english takes 1 whole para to describe something / situation, i can use 4 chinese characters to describe it! LOL.

Offline Vio

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 07:24:22 pm »
Believe me, having genders does not make a language more beautiful... to learn at least. In French there is a system to it (mostly), but even there I was having trouble.

Now in German there is NO system at all (apart from a few things taken from latin, like nouns formed from verbs), and THREE articles. A floor is male, ceiling is female and windows are neutral. Other grammar rules also have so many exceptions it's not funny anymore.
I pity da foos ;) who have to learn this. Good thing I grew up with it, hehe.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 07:26:05 pm by Vio »

Offline vedrit

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 07:27:09 pm »
Japanese is fun. The spelling is all phonetic, and everything has 4 forms. A few particles (Things that dont really translate into English, but designate topics, direction, etc)

Offline Hertzila

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2009, 11:38:38 am »
Finnish sounds fun when you compare it to those. Spelling is phonetic (velar nasal is an exception), no genders, no articles of anykind and one verb alone is enough to make a grammatically correct clause (the subject is included in verb).

For bad sides, since it has suffixes instead of prepositions, there are enough forms for verbs to make your head spin (56 if I've counted right) + a lot for nouns, adjectives and pronouns. Thanks to them, however, there is no word order and you can use three words to say something that takes a full sentence in English.
It also has THE most frustrating rules on comma use ever.

For non-natives, I've heard that learning all the "groundwork" (forms and their usage) is like pulling teeth out. After that, though, it gets easier and easier.

@ Vio: Well, at least I can then brag that I've learned it ;D.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 11:41:32 am by Hertzila »

Offline poppadrake

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2009, 11:34:40 pm »

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, dry cleaners depressed, laundry workers decreased, bedmakers debunked, baseball players debased, landscapers deflowered, students degraded, teachers declassified, software engineers detested, and musical composers decomposed.
[/quote]

Haha!  Excellent list of liguistic lunacy!

Offline vedrit

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Re: Why English is So Hard (Lafters)
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2009, 11:54:09 pm »
haha! Very nice list!