English... no wonder it's hard to learn...

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by victoria, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    If GH stands for P as in Hiccough...

    If OUGH stands for O as in Dough...

    If PHTH stands for T as in Phthisis...

    If EIGH stands for A as in Neighbour...

    If TTE stands for T as in Gazette...

    If EAU stands for O as in Plateau...

    The right way to spell POTATO...

    should be:

  2. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    was documented in a Lucy and Ricky episode several decades ago. Almost every aspect of human behavior has been depicted in I Love Lucy or Vic 'N Sade.

    (V & S was one of radio's most popular programs 70 years ago.)

    What really makes English hard is that almost every word has multiple meanings. Never realized this till I took up crossword puzzles.
  3. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I wouldn't be able to read neither if you start spelling word like you did with potato!!
  4. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    Here is another good one....


    We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes;
    but the plural of ox became 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 spoke 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.
  5. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    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.
    8) At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a 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.
    18) After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.

    hugs Redwillow
  6. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I once read that the language with the fewest dyslexics was French, because it had the fewest number of language sounds related to spelling...

    Makes sense, oui?


  7. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    Isn't there some difference between british english and american english? The english language made sense to me until I moved to the US,,,,LOL!!!

    I had to relearn a whole lot of stuff. There are differences in grammar. Maybe it is affected by all the europeans uniting in speaking one single language (back then), and not learning it perfectly- no offense!

    Now, of course I can have a good shouting match with the worst of the worst, I think I learned quickly because I started working the first week in the US at a homeless shelter. You better have a mouth were I worked at that time or you would be "nothing" quickly! I loved that place and the people there!! My guys!

  8. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    Just as a side story......when we were living in Bahrain, very early on in our 7 years there, we had a problem with our trash pick up.

    I had hubby call the office to explain that they hadn't emptied our trash bin for over a week since they were working on our street. (I dealt with stuff all the time, thought it would be fun for him to give it a try)

    He spent over 20 minutes trying to get them to understand that we needed them to come to the house, empty our trash bin etc.....I'm getting to my point, slowly though.

    So I'm standing there watching his frustration trying to explain our situation and finally got it through to hubby that there are so many words in English that mean NOTHING.

    So I told him to say....'no empty' and they got it right away!!!

    And Lena, I hear that all the time. The people here wish their kids would learn 'American English' instead of the British English because it's so different.

    Hugs all,

    Nancy B
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    That's interesting...

    why American over British English? -- they may be different in certain ways, but still understood by everyone speaking English, isn't it?

    And have gone thru it myself trying to make myself understood. Actually went to Paris with friends, none of us knew any French, but I suddenly recalled some/enough Spanish from high school to ask a taxi driver to drop the window, and he understood... but then thought I spoke Spanish lolol...

    funny how the right words came to my mind, I liken it to that fortune-telling magic-8 ball where the answer to your inquiry surfaces in the window?

    Amazing how some of the languages are close enough. tho .. my DH went to Mexico with a friend who spoke Sicilian, and it was enough to be understood... altho to me these languages all seem quite different for the most part.


  10. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I think it's because when the kids start learning 'proper British English' it doesn't really help when they hear us speak, so they wish they'd just teach 'American English'.

    This is coming from German women here that I've spoken to and I've heard it many times.

    I think it would be like any other language with different dialects....

    Maybe Prickles or someone else from England could help us out here because basically, I probably have no idea what I'm talking about, lol.


    Nancy B
  11. fivesue

    fivesue New Member

    The good old English language!

    Glad I'm a native speaker and didn't have to learn it...AAGH!

  12. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    I LOVE this thread it is definately a printer!!!

    Here are a few of the problems as a Brit living in the UK I have had:

    Once asked a whole lecture room of mainly males if "Anyone had a rubber they could loan to me." (Brit for eraser)

    Keep you pecker up means smile to a Brit(pecker meaning mouth)

    I'll knock you up in the morning means I will call you to say it is time to get out of bed (when I was a kid in UK they still had people who ran up and down the street knocking on the upstairs windows with a pole to awaken shift workers-these men were called knocker-uppers)

    My grandad was employed as "A sagger makers bottom knocker"
    (even I am not sure what he did-something in a steel mill or pottery)

    Then we have all the things like, quid (for pound sterling) knicker(for pound sterling and also ladies panties)bread for pound sterling and Pee for coins under a dollar!!!

    Loo and bog mean toilet as does lavatory which in USA means sink

    The list goes on. But I loved that clever poem.

    Love Annie
  13. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    He was the teacher who told me I couldn't "continue on."

    I'm supposed to either "go on" or "continue." :)

    To anyone interested in the history of the Frankenstien's monster that is our native tongue (it's a mash of anglo saxon, German, Latin, French, and anyone else the Britons ever met - and it's changing constantly) I reccomend the book The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got That Way, by Bill Bryson. There's also an excellent TV series called The Adventure of English.

    As far as my cobwebby memory goes, the story is something like this. Britons of the Middle Ages were pretty isolated from other Britons. Average people stayed in their own towns and valleys, speaking in their own way. Nobles spoke French, clergy spoke Latin, and everyone else spoke some regional language.

    The invention of the printing press helped to gel this mixed language into the English we use today. Important works like the King James Bible and The Canturbury Tales helped to solidify the English language. Kings began writing their documents in English instead of French.

    The Mother Tongue says that often spellings from one part of the country (spellings varied wildly) often got stuck to pronunciations used in another part of the country. That's why some words are spelled in ways that are different from how they are pronounced.

    A lot of weird arbitrary things happened too, like spelling "rhythm" with an "h" because "rhyme" was already spelled with an "h." People had to use their own judgement when writing, doing their best to make themselves understood and making it up as they went along. (The first dictionary was hundreds of years in the future.)

    Spoken English was changing rapidly too. When a counsel was eventually taken on whether to revise the spelling in this evolving language so that it would be closer to how the words were spoken, the traditionalists won out. The quirks stayed in.

    The mixed origins of the English language help explain why one word can have so many meanings. Take the word "mean" for example. The following languages all have a word that sounds like "mean" but means something different. We kept the different meanings under the same word.
    Old High German: to have in mind
    Old Church Slavonic: to mention
    Anglo Saxon: wicked
    French: common
    Latin: middle

    Well, that just about did me in! I hope I haven't given a lot of misinformation in my haze. I'm sure some of my history is off. Will some kind soul set me straight where erring?

    Incidentally, besides British English and American English, there is also Canadian English. It's kind of a mix. :) For instance, for the middle of something we use the American spelling "center" but for a place to meet we use the British spelling "centre." The little "u" in "colour" gave up its struggle in my own lifetime to be replaced by the American "color."

    What I wonder is when "drive thru" will make its mark. Immagine using "thru" instead of "through." Makes sense to me. I'm so glad this was my first language! It's also the language of world commerce in this century.

    ((dozing in the dictionary)) Shannon
  14. Shannonsparkles

    Shannonsparkles New Member

    Dad explained this one for me. "Knee" comes from German. Germans pronounce the "K." Why it's silent in English, I still don't know. "Know" is pretty bad too, isn't it?

    I think I could research this for ten lifetimes and not have it figured out. :) Good thing research is fun.
    ((I just don't k-now))
  15. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I can't imagine trying to learn Chinese or Japanese... imho those would be the hardest.

    Perhaps speaking it would be easier than writing, but learning to read or write those languages would kill me - a different character for every word?! With my brain fog? LOL!


  16. victoria

    victoria New Member

    we hired some women who come in to help us with my MIL who has dementia...

    I've lived in the south of the USA for almost 30 years and always knew what people were talking about despite the euphimism...

    but today I heard a new one... she called the burner an 'eye'... I had no idea what she was talking about... altho she does say she has no idea if it's just her or regional? LOL.......