Why English Is So Hard

We'll begin with a box,
and the plural is boxes.
But the plural of ox should be oxen,
not oxes.

Then one fowl is goose,
but two are called geese.
Yet the plural of moose
should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse
or a whole lot of mice.
But 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?

The cow in a plural
may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows,
not vine.

And I speak of foot,
and you show me your feet,
But I give you a boot ...
would a pair be called beet ?

If one is a tooth
and the whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth
be called beeth ?

If the singular is this
and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss
be nicknamed kese ?

Then one may be that,
and three may be those,
Yet the plural of hat
would never be hose.

We speak of a brother,
and also of brethern,
But though we say mother,
we never say methern .

The masculine pronouns are
he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine
she, shis and shim!

So our English,
I think you'll all agree,
Is the trickiest language
you ever did see.

author unknown

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No wonder English is difficult to learn:

We polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
A farm can produce produce.
The dump was so full it had to refuse refuse.
The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
The present is a good time to present the present.
At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum.
The dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.
The insurance for the invalid was invalid.
The bandage was wound around the wound.
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.
They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
I shed a tear when I saw the tear in my clothes.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.

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Word Facts

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."
"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe.
The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.
The word "set" has more definitions than any other word
in the English language.
"Underground" is the only word in the English language
that begins and ends with the letters "und."
There are only four words in the English language which end in"-dous":
tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford
English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
The only other word with the same amount of letters is
pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.
The longest place-name still in use is Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotama-
teaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwe nuakitnatahu, a New Zealand hill.
Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los
Angeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size,
"L.A."
There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten
words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there,
he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
"Stewardesses" is the longest word that can be typed
with only the left hand.
The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The
following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced,
thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough;
after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating
a letter is uncopyrightable.
Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order,
as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

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Making English The Language Of EU

The European Commission have 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 negotia-
tions, Her Majesty's govt. 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 1 less letter.

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 3rd 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 yar, 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.

ZE DREM VIL FINALI KUM TRU!!
And zen ve vil take over ze vorld!!!

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Cute English Sentences

Tom, where Bill had had "had" had had "had had".
"Had had" had been correct.

: Wouldn't the sentence "I want to put a hyphen between the words
: Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish and Chips sign" have
: been clarer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish,
: and between Fish and and and and and And and And and and and and
: and And and And and and and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?

In order to make sense of "this sentence"
you must remove the quotes from "it".

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Rules Of English

Here are several very important but often forgotten rules of English:

1. Avoid alliteration. Always.

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)

4. Employ the vernacular.

5. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

6. Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7. It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8. Contractions aren't necessary.

9. Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

10. One should never generalize.

11. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

12. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

13. Don't be redundant; don't more use words than necessary;
it's highly superfluous.

14. Profanity sucks.

15. Be more or less specific.

16. Understatement is always best..

17. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

18. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

20. The passive voice is to be avoided.

21. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

22. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

23. Who needs rhetorical questions?

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Grammar Rules For The Unenlightened; Or, How To Write Good

Don't use no double negatives
Don't never use no triple negatives.
No sentence fragments
Corollary: Complete sentences: important.
Stamp out and eliminate redundancy.
Avoid cliches like the plague.
All generalizations are bad.
Corollary: All statements must be specific.
Never listen to advice.
Take care that your verb and subject is in agreement.
A preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with.
Down with categorical imperatives.
Avoid those run-on sentences that just go on, and on, and on, they
never stop, they just keep rambling, and you really wish the
person would just shut up, but no, they just keep going, they're
worse than the Energizer Bunny, they babble incessantly, and
these sentences, they just never stop, they go on forever...
if you get my drift...
Never contradict yourself always.
You should never use the second person.
When dangling, watch your participles.
Never go off on tangents, which are lines that intersect a curve
at only one point and were discovered by Euclid, who lived in
the sixth century, which was an era dominated by the Goths, who
lived in what we now know as Poland...
As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "I hate quotations."
Excessive use of exclamation points can be disastrous!!!!!
Remember to end each sentence with a period
Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.
Don't use question marks inappropriately?
Don't be terse.
Don't obfuscate your theses with extraneous verbiage.
Never use that totally cool, radically groovy out-of-date slang.
Avoid tumbling off the cliff of triteness into the black abyss of
overused metaphors.
Keep your ear to the grindstone, your nose to the ground, take the
bull by the horns of a dilemma, and stop mixing your metaphors.
Avoid those abysmally horrible, outrageously repellent exaggerations.
Avoid any awful anachronistic aggravating antediluvian alliterations.

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The Apostrophe

It's is not, it isn't ain't, and it's it's, not its, if you
mean it is. If you don't, it's its. Then too, it's hers.
It isn't her's. It isn't our's either. It's ours, and
likewise yours and theirs.
-- Oxford University Press, Edpress News

A Concise Essay

A university creative writing class was asked to write a concise
essay containing these four elements:

- religion
- royalty
- sex
- mystery

The prize-winning essay read:

"My God," said the Queen. "I'm pregnant. I wonder who did it?"

English Professor And Punctuation

An English Professor wrote the words, "woman without her man is a
savage" on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it
correctly.

The men wrote: "Woman, without her man, is a savage."

The women wrote: "Woman: Without her, man is a savage."

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine
different ways. The following sentence contains
them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful
ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough;
after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford
English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.
The only other word with the same amount of letters is
pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.
Hydroxydesoxycorticosterone and hydroxydeoxycorticosterones
are the largest anagrams.

The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two
synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere
and separate.

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without
repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the
correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing
arsenic."

"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.

The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant.
If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a
Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest,
causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange,
silver and purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

There are only four words in the English language which end
in"-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." uses every
letter in the alphabet. (Developed by Western Union to test telex/twx
communications)

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