The late Doris Nast Diede, my High School English teacher, deserved a medal. After much effort on her part, she finally taught me that spelling is not a creative art.
Actually, she also deserved a medal for teaching a very complex and ambiguous language. For instance, in what other language do people:
-recite a play and play a recital
-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,
-you fill in a form by filling it out, and
-an alarm goes off by going on.
If you have some odds and ends and then get rid of all but one, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why don’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Helpful means full of help and cheerful means full of cheer. Using the same logic, what does the word bashful mean?
Further evidence of a language out of control: There is no egg in eggplant and no ham in hamburger. Why isn’t hysterectomy called a HERterectomy? When a man gets a hernia, why is it not called a HISnia?
We take English for granted. However, if we explore its paradoxes, we find that:
-we drive on parkways and park on driveways.
-quicksand can work slowly.
-boxing rings are square.
-writers write but fingers don’t fing.
-we put garments in a suitcase and we put suits in a garment bag.
Why doesn’t Buick rhyme with quick?
Not convinced yet? Consider the following:
-I shed a tear when I saw the tear in the painting.
-He could lead if he could get the lead out.
-He decided to present the present because there is no time like the present.
-He did not object to the object.
-The Polish furniture needed polish.
-The insurance policy was invalid for the invalid.
-The buck does act differently when the does are present.
-After a number of injections my jaw became number.
-The fleeing dove dove into the bushes.
-The landfill was so full it had to refuse additional refuse.
-The garden was used to produce produce.
-The oarsmen had a row about how to row.
-They had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
-A bass was painted on a bass drum.
-To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
-He was too close to the door to close it.
The English language was not invented by computers. It was invented by people and reflects the creativity of the human race, which is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible yet when the lights are out, they are invisible.