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Round Table discussions: Why the English Language is So Hard to Learn.

Chair One: When we first found these statements, the author was unknown to us. Since that time, with some research, they have been attributed to Richard Lederer. But given the thought provoking nature of them, we'd still like to share them with you all.

Chair Five-

  1. The bandage 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 mus polish the Polish furniture.

  5. He could lead if he would just 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. A bass was pointed on the head of the 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 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?

More examples that 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?

One index, 2 indices?

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 don't preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

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 an 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 wise guy 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.

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.)

And that is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

~Richard Lederer

Chair Six:

I've always found this baffling - "Awful"is generally used to describe something negatively, yet the word on its own would imply that something is "full of Awe.'

When we say "awesome" to describe something, we usually mean that subject can't possibly become more positive in it's existence. Yet that game or that movie or that person only inspires "some awe."

Guest chair Clavis4hire - The English language is so flawed, its insane. Old words mean something new. And "slang" is just another misinterpretation of a words true meaning. It's not easy. Oh, and the new text messaging age of things really throws things off too! I think the English language has become a mutant of sorts.

Chair One:

I do believe this is why our children are required to take classes throughout their school careers to learn their own language. Somehow I don't picture Japanese or German students taking classes in their native languages.

I suppose it looked good on paper to someone in a board of directors somewhere...right along with the person who believes mathematics should require a being taught with a vocabulary that no one but a mathematician will ever use and also with the people who think standardized testing is a good idea.

Guest chair Inzala - Witch way is the wright way too speak the English language? I sea many words that sound the same butt are spelled differently two.

Old English, Middle English, Modern English...what the heck arr we too call the wee here now? Half English?

If we are over hear, inn America and there over their, en England, then who is hear and not they're speaking the wright way?

Are you a good Which or a bad Which? Witch are you?

(Bye the way, this took me a long thyme to right (type.)

We will leave the Round table discussion at this point, since it rapidly dissolved into ridiculousness. But we will leave with a final comment from Chair Three.

Chair Three - I think I posted this English conundrum someplace before but it fits in better here. In English you are supposed to be able to write properly, anything you can say. But you can not write the statement "There are three 2's in the English language." because there is no one word that stands for all three versions of (two, too, to.)


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