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Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015

English was invented by people, not computers

Posted Wednesday, September 2, 2009, at 4:32 PM

Today's column is filled with the best e-mail of the week.

My e-mail box overflows each day with deals from Amazon, flyers about sales, notices from state agencies, logs from the jail, lots of political baloney and a few good news tips.

Most of the forwarded cutesy stuff automatically goes into the spam box. However, I've got a friend who screens out the questionable cutesy stuff and sends me nothing but the best ones. Here's the latest -- thanks to the person who wrote all of the following and thanks to Vern for sending!

So you think English is easy? Check this out.

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 was 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.

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?

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 or french fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

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?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't' the plural of booth, beeth?

One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do 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?

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 why doesn't Buick rhyme with quick?

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

Finally, if you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

The end.

Anna is a staff writer at the Greene County Daily World and can be contacted by calling 847-4487 or be sending an e-mail to indianarose@fastmail.us .

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Great column Anna. I enjoyed it very much.

-- Posted by Wordmaster on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 7:18 AM

Very enjoable, column, Anna!

-- Posted by ISUgrad06 on Thu, Sep 3, 2009, at 7:26 AM

KUDOS: The most humorous blog ever written on this site. Thank you, Anna.

-- Posted by Paul on Fri, Sep 4, 2009, at 6:17 AM

Seems it's been emailed over and over again with no author named. And it is quoted on numerous websites and blogs with no author named. But after searching around, looks like it should be attributed to a humorist named Richard Lederer, a journalist who has written several books like "Crazy English" and "Get Thee to a Punnery."

-- Posted by indianarose on Fri, Sep 4, 2009, at 9:43 PM

This is probably the best and most interesting column I have read in quite some time. thank you for sharing it Anna.

-- Posted by elynn66 on Sun, Sep 6, 2009, at 9:13 AM

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Anna Rochelle is editor of the Greene County Daily World and can be reached on Facebook or by sending an email to indianarose@fastmail.us.