A story you can't speak! But you can read :-)

vbimport

#1

First, have a look at the following words:

[ol]
[li]Refuse - Am I talking about garbage or to reject?
[/li][li]Sewer - Is this someone who does needlework or a drain?
[/li][li]Shower - Someone who runs a show or rain fall?
[/li][li]Record - Does this mean to make a recording or something which contains a recording?
[/li][/ol]

In text written text, both answers are correct, but if you speak this, only one answer is correct depending on how you pronounced the word.

Of course, while the following line is understandable in written text, just imagine what happens if you pronounced the words the wrong way: The refuse collector will refuse to collect your refuse, since the sewer forgot to cover the sewer. Then a shower came in out of the shower and decided record a record. :stuck_out_tongue:

My brother told me about this Story on the English language published by the Irish Independent, which is something that you’ll understand when reading it, but if you wanted to tell someone about the story, it’s actually rather awkward without having them read the actual story.

The story is quite long, but well worth reading. You’ll see what I mean :slight_smile:


#2

Very good Seán!

Reminds me of that famous phrase frequently used to demonstrate how difficult English can be to learn.

“Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.” :bigsmile:

[B]Wombler[/B]


#3

[QUOTE=Seán;2571967]The story is quite long, but well worth reading. You’ll see what I mean :slight_smile:
http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-myers-pearse-was-right-this-english-lingothing-is-a-slum-henceforth-i-shall-write-in-hebrew-2295499.html[/QUOTE] head explodes :eek:


#4

[QUOTE=Seán;2571967]First, have a look at the following words:

[ol]
[li]Refuse - Am I talking about garbage or to reject?
[/li][li]Sewer - Is this someone who does needlework or a drain?
[/li][li]Shower - Someone who runs a show or rain fall?
[/li][li]Record - Does this mean to make a recording or something which contains a recording?
[/li][/ol]

In text written text, both answers are correct, but if you speak this, only one answer is correct depending on how you pronounced the word.

[/QUOTE]

The beauty of the English language eh. :slight_smile:

Try saying half of the sentences in that article when you’re drunk. Hours of entertainment I bet :bigsmile:


#5

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2572022]head explodes :eek:[/QUOTE]

Ditto :bigsmile:


#6

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye your dress you’ll tear,
So shall I! Oh, hear my prayer,
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, beard and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say said, pay-paid, laid, but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via,
Pipe, snipe, recipe and choir,
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles.
Exiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing.
Thames, examining, combining
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war, and far.
From “desire”: desirable–admirable from "admire."
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier.
Chatham, brougham, renown, but known.
Knowledge, done, but gone and tone,
One, anemone. Balmoral.
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel,
Gertrude, German, wind, and mind.
Scene, Melpomene, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet;
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which is said to rime with "darky."
Viscous, Viscount, load, and broad.
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s O.K.,
When you say correctly: croquet.
Rounded, wounded, grieve, and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive, and live,
Liberty, library, heave, and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven,
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover,
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police, and lice.
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label,
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal.
Suit, suite, ruin, circuit, conduit,
Rime with “shirk it” and "beyond it."
But it is not hard to tell,
Why it’s pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, and chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous, clamour
And enamour rime with hammer.
Pussy, hussy, and possess,
Desert, but dessert, address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants.
Hoist, in lieu of flags, left pennants.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rime with anger.
Neither does devour with clangour.
Soul, but foul and gaunt but aunt.
Font, front, won’t, want, grand, and grant.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger.
And then: singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age.
Query does not rime with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post; and doth, cloth, loth;
Job, Job; blossom, bosom, oath.
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual.
Seat, sweat; chaste, caste.; Leigh, eight, height;
Put, nut; granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rime with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, Senate, but sedate.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific,
Tour, but our and succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay.
Say aver, but ever, fever.
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess–it is not safe:
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralph.
Heron, granary, canary,
Crevice and device, and eyrie,
Face but preface, but efface,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust, and scour, but scourging,
Ear but earn, and wear and bear
Do not rime with here, but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk, and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation–think of psyche–!
Is a paling, stout and spikey,
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing “groats” and saying “grits”?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel,
Strewn with stones, like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict, and indict!
Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally: which rimes with "enough"
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of "cup."
My advice is–

give it up!


#7

Got this by e-mail about of the blue. A coincidence? :wink:

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

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 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?
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 other language do people recite at a play and play at a
recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And 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.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop?


#8

LOL!!! yep they always say if you can learn to speak english correctly you can
learn to speak just about any other language in the world without any trouble. :bigsmile:

I usudally spek and trpe in engrish ifns yoose nosie waht ise maens :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:


#9

[QUOTE=getit29;2572459]LOL!!! yep they always say if you can learn to speak english correctly you can
learn to speak just about any other language in the world without any trouble. :bigsmile:

I usudally spek and trpe in engrish ifns yoose nosie waht ise maens :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile: :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]

Hehe yeah, I hear English is one of the most difficult languaes to learn. Now I can see why. :slight_smile:

I wonder if other languages have different meanings/pronunciations of the same word etc…


#10

Sometimes a word in another language can match or sound like an English word, but with a completely different meaning.

The French word for Library is Bibliothèque. However, there is a French word “Librairie” which sounds like library actually refers to a book shop. :slight_smile:

My mother who can speak German did a rather funny mistake of translating “butterfly” as “Butterfliegen” instead of “Schmetterling”. So as you can imagine, the person she spoke to started giggling away wondering what the heck are buttered flies. :smiley:


#11

[QUOTE=Arachne;2572556]Hehe yeah, I hear English is one of the most difficult languaes to learn. [/QUOTE] Foreigners don’t need to learn English - all they need is a phrasebook! :cool:


#12

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2572592]Foreigners don’t need to learn English - all they need is a phrasebook! :cool:[/QUOTE]

Brilliant! :bigsmile:

Monty Python was superb! :iagree:

[B]Wombler [/B]


#13

A little news item you may not be aware of…

The European Commission just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5 year phase in plan that would be known as “EuroEnglish”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favor of the “k”. This should klear up konfusion and keyboards kan have less letters.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with the “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent “e”'s in the language is disgraceful, and they should go away. By the 4th year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaiining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

ACHTUNG! ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!!

Ve haf also decided zat driving vil be changed to ze oposit sid of ze road. Ze first year ve vil change over ze truks and buses.


#14

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2572592]Foreigners don’t need to learn English - all they need is a phrasebook! :cool:[/QUOTE]

Hahahaha!!! Monty Python rules. :cool: :bow:


#15

I could never learn English. American, well, anybody can speak that.


#16

[QUOTE=Zathros;2572740]I could never learn English. American, well, anybody can speak that.[/QUOTE]

LOL! :bigsmile:…I must admit, Americanisms, that is certain words/phrases, rub off really easily…I had a 3 year relationship with an American guy, and even now say certain things that he used to. It’s catching. :bigsmile:


#17

Not to be confused with Bushisms, which can cause Brain damage.

“Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.” —LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

“I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.” —Greater Nashua, N.H., Jan. 27, 2000

Classic Philadelphia expression: “Whose coat is that jacket?”

You can’t make this stuff up. (Bush could, but that’s a whole 'nudda story).