Humor Additions for Monday, November 5th, 2001

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Why the English Language Is Hard to Learn
  • 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 strange things when the does are present.
  • A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
  • 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?

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. 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?
  • If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of either 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?
  • By the way, how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?
  • How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?
  • And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly? Where did the beauty who was OUT OF THIS WORLD go?
  • 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, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible. However, when the lights are out, they are invisible.
  • Why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it?

Confusion, thy name is English!

Submitted by Dave, Bolder, Co.

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The Best T-Shirts of Summer, 2001 (Part 3) - Bob Levey, The Washington Post
  • (Aboard a small boy) "Chip Off the Old Block" -- (Aboard the man beside him) "Old Block"
  • "I Can Fix Anything -- Where's the Duct Tape?"
  • "Dinner Is Ready When the Smoke Alarm Goes Off"
  • (Thought balloon from a horse that's looking wistfully at a farmer in an adjacent field) "Go Ahead, Make My Hay"
  • "Rehab Is for Quitters!"
  • "I'm Only Wearing Black Until They Find Something Darker"
  • "If the Right Side of the Brain Governs the Left Side of the Body, Then Left-Handed People Are the Only Ones in Their Right Minds!"
  • "Body by Beer"
  • "America Is a Wonderful Country -- Even a C Student Can Become President"
  • "Dad Knows a Lot, But Grandpa Knows EVERYTHING!"
  • "From the Desk of Toto: Dear Dorothy -- Hate Oz, Took the Shoes, Find Your Own Way Home!"
  • "Summer in Nags Head -- Some Are Not"
  • "Here I Am -- Now What Are Your Other Two Wishes?"
  • "24 Hours in a Day, 24 Beers in a Case -- Coincidence?"
  • "I Don't Think Much -- Therefore, I May Not Be"
  • "When Your Dreams Turn to Dust, Vacuum"
  • "I Got This T-Shirt for My Husband -- Pretty Good Trade, Huh?"
  • "I'm from the Nation's Capital -- Nobody's Perfect"
  • "Out of Body -- Back in Ten Minutes"
  • "Where There's a Will . . . I Want to Be in It"
  • "Always Remember You're Unique -- Just Like Everyone Else"
  • "Keep Grandma Off the Streets -- Take Her to Bingo"
  • "Can You Imagine a World Without Men? No Crime, and Lots of Happy, Fat Women"
  • "In Dog Years, I'm Dead"
  • (Aboard a toddler) "How's My Walking? Call 1-800-GOODKID"
  • "Remember, You Either Find Time to Exercise or You'll Have to Find Time to Be Sick"
  • (Aboard a man walking along a beach in South Florida) "Will Work for Food" -- (Aboard the woman walking beside him) "Will Not Work for Anything"
  • "Don't Worry, It Only Seems Kinky the First Time"
  • "The Quickest Way to Double Your Money Is to Fold It in Half and Put It in Your Pocket"
  • "Before You Criticize Someone, You Should Walk a Mile in Their Shoes -- That Way, When You Criticize Them, You're a Mile Away and You Have a New Pair of Shoes"
  • "Experience Is Something You Don't Get Until Just After You Need It"
  • "I Bent the Rules and the Rules Won"

Read Part 2 of the Best T-Shirts of Summer, 2001

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