[bksvol-discuss] Coupons and English Language

  • From: "Shelley L. Rhodes" <juddysbuddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <bksvol-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 9 Jul 2004 22:47:31 -0400

Cindy and others, o.k. so I found this little thought provoker and wanted to

I try to scan the flaps of the book jacket if I have one, most library books
don't though.

So, would be glad to hear coupons could be ignored.

But here is the English Language commentary enjoy.

Let's face it: English is a stupid language.

There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the
hamburger and there is neither pine nor apple in the
pineapple. English muffins were not invented in
England, French fries were not invented in France.

Everybody knows that a tongue-twister is something
that twists the tongue, and a skyscraper is
something that scrapes the sky, but is an
eavesdropper someone who drops eaves? A thinker is
someone who thinks but is a tinker someone who
tinks? Is a clabber something that goes around

Somewhere along the way we all must have had an
English teacher who gave us the fascinating idea
that words that end in -er mean something or
somebody who does something like trapper, designer,
or stopper.

If writers write and if a stinger is something that
stings, is a finger something that fings ? Fing fang
fung. Today, I fing. Yesterday I fang. Day before
yesterday I had already fung.

We sometimes take English for granted. But if we
examine its paradoxes, we find that quicksand takes
you down slowly, boxing rings are square and guinea
pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If the teacher taught, why didn't the preacher
praught. If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what the
heck does a humanitarian eat!?

Why do peaople recite at a play yet play at a
recital? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

You'd expect eyes then to be called seers and ears
to be hearers. We'd wear our shoes on our walkers
and our sleeves on our reachers but we don't. The
only parts of the body that sound as if they might
indicate what they're supposed to do are our
fingers, which we've already counted out, our
livers, and our shoulders. And they don't do what
they sound as if they might. At least, I've never
seen anyone use h is shoulders for shoulding. You
shoulder your way through a crowd, but you don't
should your way. It's only in slang that we follow
the pattern, when we smell with our smeller and kiss
with our kissers.

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a
language where a house can burn up as it burns down
and in which you fill in a form by filling it out.
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by peple, not computers and it
reflects the creativity of the human race (which of
course isn't a race at all).

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when
the lights are out, they are invisible.

Sometimes occupational names do reveal what the
worker does, though. Manufacturers manufacture,
miners mine, adjusters adjust -- or at least try to.
But does a grocer groce? Does a fruiterer fruiter?
Does a butler buttle?

Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy

If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a

Why is a person who plays the piano called a
pianist, but a person who drives a race car not
called a racist?

A man is a guy, but is a wise man also a wise guy?

If horrific means to make horrible, does terrific
means to make terrible?

Why isn't 11 pronounced onety-one?

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked,
doesn't it follow that electricians can be
delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged,
models deposed, tree surgeons debarked and dry
cleaners depressed?

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are
over a billion stars in the universe you believe
them, but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you
will have to touch it to be sure?

If you take an Oriental person and spin him around
several times, does he become disoriented?

If people from Poland are called "Poles," why aren't
people from Holland called "Holes?"

No, you just can't trust the English language. You
can love it because it's your mother tongue. You can
take pride in it because it's the language
Shakespeare was dramatic in. You can thrill it
because it's the language Browning and Tennyson were
poetic in. You can have fun with it because it's the
language Charles Dickens and Mark Twain and Lewis
Carroll were funny in. You can revere it because
it's the language Milton was majestic in. You can be
grateful to it because it's the language the Magna
Carta and the Declaration of Independence were
expressed in. But you just can't trust it.

When I wind up my watch, it starts but when I wind
up this story, it ends? I better do so before Mr.
Webster kills me!

Shelley L. Rhodes and Judson, guiding golden
Guide Dogs For the Blind Inc.
Graduate Advisory Council
Never let mistakes or wrong directions, of which every man falls
into many, discourage you.  There is precious instruction to be
got by finding where we were wrong.

      -- Thomas Carlyle

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