Wednesday, September 22

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?


Travelin'Oma said...

I love these kinds of word games!

Juniper said...

I LOVE the English language and all its idiosyncracies and the fact that its history is so fascinating; all those different countries and continents our words have come from.


Gilly said...

Most of it is the fault of the Anglo Saxons, who had plurals like mice etc. Some of which we have kept and some not.

Then those plaguey Normans came and mucked up the language again, so its a right old mess of verbs and plurals!!

And Americans keep the old form - gotten, whereas we say got.

And your eggplant is our aubergine, which sounds french to me!

Glad I don't have to learn English, though!!

Arkansas Patti said...

When you see something like that, you can only thank goodness you all ready speak the language--kinda.
Would really hate to try to learn it.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I speak English (as my first language), but also speak Spanish and French. English is one of the hardest to learn. It doesn't make much sense. LOL.

LL Cool Joe said...

Ha ha very clever!

srp said...

Oh, but German is also strange.... just an ever so slight change in a word, such as an emphasis on one syllable over another, can cause the word to mean something entirely different. When Stephen was first in Austria, he thought he asked for a pound of cold cuts but it was the wrong intonation and he actually asked the lady in the traditional low cut dirndle dress for a pound of "bosom". And the syntax... oh, my.

Nancy said...

My FIL came here from Germany as a young man and did not speak one word of English on arrival.

He became a baker and had a hard time with some English words.

He always said he had to make his DUFF. We would say, "Pop.that word is DOUGH." He would get upset and spell out,"T O U G H is TUFF and R O U G H is RUFF so D O U G H is DUFF,not dough!"

Case closed!

Dr. Deb said...

THAT was so much fun to read!!!

Pat said...

It is a puzzlement.
Incidentally on of my readers said they had 'English Muffins' in the US and they were our rock cakes.
'And they had the cheek to call then English Muffins!' she said:)

Darlene said...

English is the craziest language.

amarkonmywall said...

Excellent! I'm sending this to my Russian son-in-law!