More lunacy from the English language

Still on the subject of the sheer folly of the English language, here are some further examples of why it is absolutely crazy … and very hard to learn for anyone who wasn’t born into it. How is it that this ridiculous lingua franca has become the third most widely spoken language in the world?

Can you figure out these homographs and homonyms

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when the does are present.

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong for us to wind the sail.

After a number of injections my jaw got number.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

And as if those aren’t bad enough, yet more absurdities:

There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins weren’t invented in England; nor were French fries invented in France.

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.

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, two geese. One moose, two moose. One index,two indices. One mouse, two mice.

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?

People recite at a play and play at a recital, ship by truck and send cargo by ship, park in a driveway, and drive on a parkway, 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, is not a race at all.

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

How many of us who were not born in an English-speaking country would be able to learn this language?

Good question … original compiler unknown, but whoever you are, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Make sure you can make sense of the English language:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

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