07-29-2006, 10:34 PM #1
English Language Quips and Queries
QUANDARIES, QUIPS & QUERIESAre these questions answerable?
1. Is it good if a vacuum really sucks?
2. Why is the third hand on the watch called the second hand?
3. If a word is misspelled in the dictionary, how would we ever know?
4. If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?
5. Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?
6. Why does "slow down" and "slow up" mean the same thing?
7. Why does "fat chance" and "slim chance" mean the same thing?
8. Why do "tug" boats push their barges?
9. Why do we sing, "Take me out to the ball game", when we are already there?
10. Why are they called "stands" when they are made for sitting?
11. Why is it called "after dark" when it really is "after light"?
12. Doesn't "expecting the unexpected" make the unexpected expected?
13. Why are a "wise man" and a "wise guy" opposites?
14. Why do "overlook" and "oversee" mean opposite things?
15. Why is "phonics" not spelled the way it sounds?
16. If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
17. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
18. If you are cross-eyed and have dyslexia, can you read all right?
19. Why is bra singular and panties plural?
20. Why do you press harder on the buttons of a remote control when you know the batteries are dead?
21. Why do we put suits in garment bags and garments in a suitcase?
22. How come abbreviated is such a long word?
23. Why do we wash bath towels? Aren't we clean when we use them?
24. Why do they call it a TV set when you only have one?
25. Christmas - What other time of the year do you sit in front of a dead tree and eat candy out of your socks?
Can you read these right the first time?
1) The bandage was 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 must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would 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.
A bass was painted 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.
1 Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. Think of these quandaries…..
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither is there 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 didn'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 and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
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.
PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"TAKE CARE AND HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!
07-30-2006, 08:27 AM #2
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