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  1. Nabulsi

    Question Could you explain this?

    Good day everyone !!!
    People often attribute the success of the English language to its ease of learning, i.e. its simplicity in being acquired. But that is far from the truth. English is not an easy language at all. Despite its great achievements, the language is bedeviled by intricacies, complexities, and obscurity. Explore the language and see the hundreds of paradoxes, thousands of mismatches, tons of ironies, and truckloads of counter-intuitive notions, expressions, concepts and relations.
    Every student of english is told that word formation, for instance, follow some systematic processes.Thus, rules are not arbitrary but systematic. Something that can be read is readable; something that can be washed is washable, e.t.c. However, one realises immediately that though a car is able to run, it can't be called runnable, nor can man be dieble, though he is mortal, i.e. can and does, in fact, die.
    The -er ending in words like teacher and writer indicates someone who does something - a teacher is someone who teaches, a writer someone who writes, e.t.c. However, does a finger indicate someone who fings, a cooker someone who cooks, and a hammer someone who hams? Absurd !
    If the plural of dog is dogs, shouldn't the plural of child be childs? One mouse, two mice; so one house, two hice? One ox, two oxen; then one box, two boxen? Why not ? Big, bigger, biggest - fine! Beautiful, beautifuller, beautifullest. Why not? All right, bad, badder, baddest,right ? A healthy man is full of health, a dirty man is full of dirt.That's fine. What then do these suggests? Canny - full of can; summary - full of sum; and sultry - full of sult? Oh no !
    It makes sense if a car runs, but it doesn't if a nose does so.The english say, birds of the same feather flock together, but also opposites attract. You copy from one person's work, that's plagiarism; you copy from from a hundred, that's a research! You kill one person, you are a murderer; you kill a million, you are a conqueror!
    You never see a sung hero, but an unsung one; nor a gruntled person, but a disgruntled one . How about meeting a ruly crowd or a peccable fellow! Only an unruly crowd and an impeccable fellow. How comes ? Fire fighters fight fire, and crime fighters fight crime. How about freedom fighters ? They fight freedom I guess. Vegetarians eat vegetables. What of humanitarians, human beings ?
    When a fire is put off, it is extinguished; and when an engine is turned off, it stops. However, when an alarm goes off, it goes on; and when a gun goes off, it is fired. That's insane! When a house burns down, it burns up; and when you fill in a form, you fill it out. When you wind up a watch, you start it; but when you wind up a story, you end it. When a star is out, it is visible; but when light is out, it is invisible.That's ludicrous !
    Aliyu Nabulsi.

  2. Dany's Avatar

    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 602

    Re: Could you explain this?


    It's funny to read your statement. I try to explain it in few words.

    Every rule is followed by an exception

    In addition to your statement:
    The dog barks loudly
    She is screaming furiously
    The driver of the car was seriously injured
    BUT: He looks horrible NOT He looks horribly

    Best regards,

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