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The E.Newspaper By Dr. Howdy, Ph.D. A.P.E., N.U.T.
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There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger and there is neither apple or pine in a pineapple. English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are lollies while sweetbreads which are not sweet are meat. We take English for granted.
But if we explore its paradoxes, we find quick sand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a Guinea Pig is neither from Guinea or 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? And to further complicate the issue it is one mongoose, two mongooses. You can make amends, but not one amend or comb through the annals of history but not a single annal. If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all of them, except one, is it an odd or an end?
It teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables what does a human - itarian eat? Sometimes I think all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Or have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance mean the same thing , while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites? 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? And where are those people who are actually spring chickens? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which you 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 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.
That is why when I wind up my watch I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.