Saturday, August 30, 2008

English-Asylum for the verbally insane

Today I was at a Pearson workshop and they gave us this text. I had read bits of it here and there on the internet, so now it is my tipe to post it as well.

English-Asylum for the verbally insane

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 plurall of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
yet hat in the plural would never bee 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 pineaplle.
English muffins weren't invented in England.
We take English for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
we find that quicsand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is a pig.
And why is that writers write but fingers don't fing,
grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?

If teacher 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 peoplerecite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck and send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in the driveway and drive in the 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 Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

1 comment:

Darwin said...

Me preguntaba cuál era tu nombre, muy interesante esta entrada, la recordé el otro día viendo a Hugh Laurie.