Saturday, September 19, 2009

Really ... It's easy to learn English ....

A friend of mine sent me this recently ... Enjoy!

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 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.

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? 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. Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this. There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'
It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver. We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so. Time to shut UP! more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?


Molly said...

And you think I have too much time on my hands........!

Pauline said...

what's up with that?

Lee said...

Oh, I give up.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I have always been very glad that English is my native language because I really pity anyone who has to learn it as a second (or third.) It is chock full (what is a chock?) of inconsistencies, there are as many exceptions to the rules as there are rules, and probably 1/3 of our words are not pronounced as they look or as you pointed out, do not rhyme with words they logically should rhyme with, but don't. It's UPsetting.

secret agent woman said...

But most English words make more sense if you look into their origins. Buick from the English town of Bewick, so the pronunication makes sense. Pineapple becaus ehtey resemble pinecones. And so on. ANd I bet every language has those. Like the Frecnh word for baked potaoes. Apples of the earth in their dressing gowns? Poetic, but not one you'd just guess on your own.

Meggie said...

I don't feel up to it!