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  1. #1
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    On some peculiarities of the English language...

    Hi, Everyone,

    I've just found this and decided to post it here; I hope you'll like it and apologise if you've already seen it:

    "We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
    but the plural of ox became 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 spoke 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.
    If Dad is Pop, how's come Mom isn't Mop?..."

    So much for the little poem; now something different. Look at this:

    "Some reasons to be grateful if you grew up speaking
    English:
    1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
    2) The farm was used to produce produce
    3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
    5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
    6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
    7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
    8) At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
    9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    10) I did not object to the object.
    11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
    12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
    13) They were too close to the door to close it.
    14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
    15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
    16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
    17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
    18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
    19) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
    20) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    21) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
    22) I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt. "

    My best to Everyone

    TeeKay

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: On some peculiarities of the English language...

    Some of those are just plain unfair on non-native speakers.

  3. #3
    Tomasz Klimkiewicz is offline Senior Member
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    Re: On some peculiarities of the English language...

    ...and can be quite intimidating for beginners as soon as they learn enough to realise the phonetic inconsistency that's so distinctive a feature of the English language.

    The sentences (1) - (22) draw the readers' attention to the importance of correct pronunciation for the process of communication (pairs: wound - wound, row - row, tear - tear and many others.)

  4. #4
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    Re: On some peculiarities of the English language...

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Some of those are just plain unfair on non-native speakers.
    There is no such thing as fair!

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: On some peculiarities of the English language...

    Quite right- if language were fair, I'd be out of a job, which is why I love prepositions, etc.

  6. #6
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    Re: On some peculiarities of the English language...

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Quite right- if language were fair, I'd be out of a job, which is why I love prepositions, etc.
    Applied sadism

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