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The quirks of English

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 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, 2 geese. So one moose, 
2 meese?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb 
thru annals of history but not a single annal? 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? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

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? Send shipments by car 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 wise 
guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot 
and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold 
as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? 
Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or 
experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, 
gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring 
chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

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 clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity 
of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when 
the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are 
invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up 
this essay, I end it.

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