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Why English is Difficult

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
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.

Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind! For example... If you have
a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a

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.

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 Guineanor 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?

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

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English 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 wiseguy 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.
post #2 of 17
These are funny MA!
post #3 of 17
LOL! I have to show this to my friend Jordan. She majored in English. This will crack her up for sure. Thanks MA!
post #4 of 17
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post #7 of 17
I just love semantics and linguistics! (and then people wonder why it's so difficult for people to learn English as adults as a second language!)
post #8 of 17
Some of those sentences are worse than tongue-twisters!
post #9 of 17
Originally posted by valanhb
I just love semantics and linguistics! (and then people wonder why it's so difficult for people to learn English as adults as a second language!)
I agree!!

I should show this one to my friend whos majored in english too. That's soooo funny. I love it!
post #10 of 17
no hablo ingles....
post #11 of 17
Just so long as this wasn't the one explaining why "ghoti" is pronounced "fish".
post #12 of 17
This has SO much truth! I didn't realize it until I had to start teaching my husband and a few other Arabic people, English. It's so frustrating! I learned Arabic and once you learn the characters it is easy because Arabic is toatlly phonetic.
post #13 of 17
Actually, English is a lot more phonetic than you would think. It just has its roots in many other languages and takes many of its phonograms from them. I have about 80 worth of study into the phonics and structure of the English language. Most words DO follow the rules...if you know what they are!
post #14 of 17
I think the rules are the problem! LOL. All the silent H's, and other letters amoung other things! Makes it much more difficult to learn!
post #15 of 17
I speak a few languages, English, French, Cantonese & Malay....
Believe me, English is not the ONLY weird one...

In cantonese one word usually means three or four different things...depending on how you inflect the word...

And as for french.... there are so many tenses, conjugations, regular , irregular verbs, female words, male words...

sometimes i think we should just stick to sign language, or smilies....

has any one heard of esperanto?
it's the international language and is supposed to be the easiest language to learn....
post #16 of 17
LOL I love this!
Thanks for sharing Mary Anne!

post #17 of 17
It's difficult for most of us to say whether English is a tricky language or not, having been brought up with it . . . my parents insisted that it was painfully difficult to learn (they came to England after WW2 from Poland), as it often does not read how it is written. For instance, in most European countries, 'w' is pronounced like a 'v'. 'sh' 'ch' etc are different in most languages too hence the difficulty with English for a lot of Europeans. Add to this people whose have to learn the alphabet AS WELL as the actual words and hats off to them - they are braver that I am!!!

Polish, Italian and German are quite easy in my opinion as they are both pronounced mostly how they are written (Polish throws a lot of people coz of the closely coupled consonants and the multitude of zeds) - but once you get over that it's quite easy. French, in my mind is a complete mystery as the pronounciation rules don't seem to be consistent nor logical. I really suffered at school trying to learn this language!
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