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Doloris
September 10th, 2013, 07:51 AM
Englislh can be confusing



 No wonder we have so much trouble with the English language .

Subject:

Read all the way to the end.................You will enjoy these nuances of the English language.

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) 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.

18) 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. 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? 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?
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.

PS. - 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 UPexcuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
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.......it is time to shut UP!
Now it's UP to you what you do with this email

Renate
September 10th, 2013, 08:27 AM
Dolores, I thank you so much for your wonderful post. I cannot stopp laughin (on the things I understood and more about the things I do not ...). With the help of all of you I get better each day. If I do not understand something, I take my time and translate it word by word and mostly I get it. I read a lot of english books, that also helps. And now, as Lisapc opened the "Elm" Group, where we read this wonderful quilt stories, it brings me forward with the quilters vocabulary.

By the way, can anybody explain me: what is/are "quilting bee"?

kelliedi
September 10th, 2013, 08:30 AM
quilting bee= when quilters get together and quilt on one quilt together.

Doloris
September 10th, 2013, 08:35 AM
It's amazing that americans can speak English . With all the words that are spelled the same, but pronounced differently and mean completely different things I wonder how people whose first language is not English ever figure it out

bubba
September 10th, 2013, 09:06 AM
And why don't we think, thank, thunk, if we sink, sank, sunk?

easyquilts
September 10th, 2013, 09:16 AM
I am SO grateful that Englidh is my native language, because I think it would be VERY hard to learn to speak it. Thanks for the "lesson".....

I think people who take on English as a second language are brave... I'm not so sure I would attempt it....

My nephew married a lovely, lovely young woman from Columbia... Carolina speaks perfect English,,,, and their two little boys are totally bilingual. I'm always amazed to hear Jack and .mateo switch languages on naturally, They have been fortunate enough to have spent a lot of time either Columnisn family, where they were immersed in Spanish....

craftychris
September 10th, 2013, 09:26 AM
And if there was more than one house it's houses so therefore why isn't it to be that more than one mouse isn't mouses???????

Swedish leo
September 10th, 2013, 09:38 AM
Thank you for this post!

I realy enjoyed it!

Here in Sweden we start to learn english in school when we are about 9 or 10 years old . It is manditory.
It helps a lot and we watch lots of english and american tv shows and films.

For me personaly, I like to learn diffrent launguish. The hard part for me is the spelling.
But since I found all of you guys, I think I am improving.

:icon_wave:

Andrea F
September 10th, 2013, 09:40 AM
Thank you for this wonderful post! I didnīt get the meaning of half of it. That is where my friend leo.org usually comes in very handy. But sometimes there are so many translations that I just try to find the one that might be the closest to what I want to say or what makes sense in a certain context.

When I started university 7 years ago (20 years after finishing school) I was completely overwhelmed. Approximately 90% of psychological research is conducted in the US and therefore most of our literature was written in English. It took me an entire week to translate (almost every single word of) the very first study I had to read and present the content in a seminar. By now, I read English books, watch English tv shows and so on. I still donīt get a lot of things, espescially when it comes to understanding what you hear or sayings and phrases in general. And I am still very very shy when it comes to talk in English because I think I may be embarassing myself when I say something wrong or donīt pronounce words the right way.
I still have mighty problems with some things like when do you use I and when do you use Me? Do you visit somebody or do you visit with somebody? Where do commas have to go? When do you use which tense? To be continued... ;)

BTW if anybody could recommend me a textbook covering all this grammar stuff, that would be great :D

Lisapc
September 10th, 2013, 09:48 AM
This is a great post. I have to say that I have been discussing these "same" but "different" words with my 8 yr old son a lot lately with the more reading and writing he does. I still have no explanation for them!

Alpha O
September 10th, 2013, 10:26 AM
To top it off, GHOTI spells fish according to George Bernard Shaw.

Take the GH sound of enough,
The O of women
The TI of nation

and you have fish.

Lisapc
September 10th, 2013, 10:44 AM
Thank you for this wonderful post! I didnīt get the meaning of half of it. That is where my friend leo.org usually comes in very handy. But sometimes there are so many translations that I just try to find the one that might be the closest to what I want to say or what makes sense in a certain context.

When I started university 7 years ago (20 years after finishing school) I was completely overwhelmed. Approximately 90% of psychological research is conducted in the US and therefore most of our literature was written in English. It took me an entire week to translate (almost every single word of) the very first study I had to read and present the content in a seminar. By now, I read English books, watch English tv shows and so on. I still donīt get a lot of things, espescially when it comes to understanding what you hear or sayings and phrases in general. And I am still very very shy when it comes to talk in English because I think I may be embarassing myself when I say something wrong or donīt pronounce words the right way.
I still have mighty problems with some things like when do you use I and when do you use Me? Do you visit somebody or do you visit with somebody? Where do commas have to go? When do you use which tense? To be continued... ;)

BTW if anybody could recommend me a textbook covering all this grammar stuff, that would be great :D

I went to visit my Dad last week. I went to visit with my Dad last week. Both are correct although the first one is more commonly spoken in the area I am in.

I honestly did not realize for quite a while that you were not from the states from your writing. One day I looked under your avatar and saw you were in Germany. Your English, like Renate, Swedish Leo and many other members is much better than a lot of Americans.

Doloris
September 10th, 2013, 10:46 AM
Thank you for this wonderful post! I didnīt get the meaning of half of it. That is where my friend leo.org usually comes in very handy. But sometimes there are so many translations that I just try to find the one that might be the closest to what I want to say or what makes sense in a certain context.

When I started university 7 years ago (20 years after finishing school) I was completely overwhelmed. Approximately 90% of psychological research is conducted in the US and therefore most of our literature was written in English. It took me an entire week to translate (almost every single word of) the very first study I had to read and present the content in a seminar. By now, I read English books, watch English tv shows and so on. I still donīt get a lot of things, espescially when it comes to understanding what you hear or sayings and phrases in general. And I am still very very shy when it comes to talk in English because I think I may be embarassing myself when I say something wrong or donīt pronounce words the right way.
I still have mighty problems with some things like when do you use I and when do you use Me? Do you visit somebody or do you visit with somebody? Where do commas have to go? When do you use which tense? To be continued... ;)

BTW if anybody could recommend me a textbook covering all this grammar stuff, that would be great :D

Please don't anyone feel shy or embarrassed when trying to write or type in English. We all understand and usually can figure out what you are trying to say. Sometimes someone will correct what is wrong, only to help you so you don't keep making the same mistake. Sad to say, but if this forum were in another language I think most of us would not be here. I took Spanish in high school, many moons ago, and I still know lots of words, but cannot speak it. Can usually get the gist of what is written because I recognize words.
If ever you get stuck on something just ask. It's fun to learn and not just quilting things!!!!
Andrea, I thought you were an American living in Germany. Your English is good.

Suzyq
September 10th, 2013, 11:01 AM
Andrea and any others having difficulties in learning another language, I truly sympathize as Ottawa here is a bilingual city ( English and French) and having worked in the gov't I was expected to be able to learn French which is not my first language. I was so shy in speaking out for fear I'd use the wrong words and look stupid. It wasn't until I rec'd several compliments that I felt motivated to keep trying. You're doing great and good for you for trying! Would you believe so many English speaking people know nothing or care about where to place commas or the correct pronunciation of words? As long as our message is understood, that's what matters but if course at work it might be different. Here we enjoy each other for our mutual love of quilting, that's what's most important!

K. McEuen
September 10th, 2013, 11:45 AM
Here's one for quilters.

The boarder rented a room in a house on the border.

While "boarder" may be correct for those in the UK and other countries when talking quilts, in America it is "border."

auntiemern
September 10th, 2013, 01:49 PM
This is such a funny post. We as Americans, don't don't give a thought to the words we use, or how so many of them have different meanings, yet spelled the same. Or words that are pronounced the same, yet spelled differently (flower-flour). Thank you for this post. It is a real eye opener.

Hulamoon
September 10th, 2013, 02:13 PM
Thank you for this wonderful post! I didnīt get the meaning of half of it. That is where my friend leo.org usually comes in very handy. But sometimes there are so many translations that I just try to find the one that might be the closest to what I want to say or what makes sense in a certain context.

When I started university 7 years ago (20 years after finishing school) I was completely overwhelmed. Approximately 90% of psychological research is conducted in the US and therefore most of our literature was written in English. It took me an entire week to translate (almost every single word of) the very first study I had to read and present the content in a seminar. By now, I read English books, watch English tv shows and so on. I still donīt get a lot of things, espescially when it comes to understanding what you hear or sayings and phrases in general. And I am still very very shy when it comes to talk in English because I think I may be embarassing myself when I say something wrong or donīt pronounce words the right way.
I still have mighty problems with some things like when do you use I and when do you use Me? Do you visit somebody or do you visit with somebody? Where do commas have to go? When do you use which tense? To be continued... ;)

BTW if anybody could recommend me a textbook covering all this grammar stuff, that would be great :D

I have a great book to recommend. It's a book I had to get for English class in college. 'A Writers Reference' by Diana Hacker. All in all it's a grammar book. On the back cover it say's it's the best selling college book of any kind.

The college bookstore is expensive and some students forget to take them back in to get partial money back, so they sell them online. Ebay is a good place to look. There is a ton listed. I have the fourth edition. It has tabs for quick reference.


This was a fun thread to read. It's too early for me to think of anything fun to say. lol

Musical_Starling
September 10th, 2013, 11:43 PM
I had quite a chuckle at that, thanks for sharing :D As for all of our members who do NOT speak English as their first language (for some it is second, third, fourth, fifth! Amazes me!) I wouldn't worry too much about using the wrong word somewhere, spelling it wrong, or using the wrong punctuation. Most of us who speak English as our FIRST language mess that stuff up! lol So do not worry in the least, and if you come across a word you don't know and would like to, then feel free to ask :) We're all pretty relaxed and would be more than happy to help!

I've always wanted to learn French and even took some in University but never quite got to the point where I would feel comfortable having a conversation. I can usually understand what's going on when I'm reading it though.

PeggyM
September 11th, 2013, 12:02 AM
Thank you for this post!

I realy enjoyed it!

Here in Sweden we start to learn english in school when we are about 9 or 10 years old . It is manditory.
It helps a lot and we watch lots of english and american tv shows and films.

For me personaly, I like to learn diffrent launguish. The hard part for me is the spelling.
But since I found all of you guys, I think I am improving.

:icon_wave:

You do wonderfully. Most Americans struggle with spelling, including my boss, the Journalism major.

PeggyM
September 11th, 2013, 12:09 AM
I versus me: I was hit by a car. A car hit me. Again, this is lost on a lot of the native English speakers. Especially in South Baltimore. (No offense to South Baltimore in general.) :)

SallyO'Sews
September 11th, 2013, 12:23 AM
Thank you for this wonderful post! I didnīt get the meaning of half of it. That is where my friend leo.org usually comes in very handy. But sometimes there are so many translations that I just try to find the one that might be the closest to what I want to say or what makes sense in a certain context.

When I started university 7 years ago (20 years after finishing school) I was completely overwhelmed. Approximately 90% of psychological research is conducted in the US and therefore most of our literature was written in English. It took me an entire week to translate (almost every single word of) the very first study I had to read and present the content in a seminar. By now, I read English books, watch English tv shows and so on. I still donīt get a lot of things, espescially when it comes to understanding what you hear or sayings and phrases in general. And I am still very very shy when it comes to talk in English because I think I may be embarassing myself when I say something wrong or donīt pronounce words the right way.
I still have mighty problems with some things like when do you use I and when do you use Me? Do you visit somebody or do you visit with somebody? Where do commas have to go? When do you use which tense? To be continued... ;)

BTW if anybody could recommend me a textbook covering all this grammar stuff, that would be great :D
Andrea, I = nominative case (Ich); me = objective case (mich, mir)
One of the best basic grammar textbooks I know is published by A Beka Book in Pensacola, Florida: they have an excellent series of grammar texts for grades 7 - 12 (ages 12 - 18); you might also try this: Grammar and Punctuation | The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (http://www.grammarbook.com/)
I spent 10 years teaching school, and I love grammar. Please feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions!

Poppytree
September 11th, 2013, 05:44 AM
What fun! I'd query number 9 though. We don't say dove (past tense of dive) we say dived - eg. He dived off the top board into the swimming pool

KerriS
September 11th, 2013, 07:15 AM
Hi there

I'd like to throw in someting here too.
In case anyone feels offended, I really truly apologise, this is not my intention.
But I really have the impression that especially the Americans do not care too much for their own grammar.

My DD Annika spent her 11th school year in Wolcott,Ct.
When she went there, she had 6 years of learning english at school and she had always been a mediocre student in english here in Germany. (our marks here go from 1=very good to 6=very bad, hers always were around 3)
She went to the local high school, and from day one she alway said, that she had no problems with the language.

The astonishing thing to me was, when she got her school report/report card (I don't know which is the correct word), she got 110 points and was announced "best of the year" in english!!.. she as the foreigner.. I hardly could believe that.
I always thought, there is no way to get more than 100%.. somehow she managed that...

When she came home, she went back on her 3-marks again, at least in written english.
She made a lot mistakes, and when I asked her, how she obviously did not make these mistakes in the US she told me, that mistakes never were corrected or even marked. Even though she asked the teachers to do so, they didn't. Every student was allowed to write as he/she liked.

I must admit, that this is very confusing to me.



To those, who think, that english grammar is complicated.. try to learn german.. :D
In my school time, I always felt an english grammar lesson quite recreative after a german grammar lesson.
I always loved learning english. It is a beautiful language and to me the grammar seemed so much more logical than german. There are not half as much exceptions from the rules than in german. I really feel sorry for everyone who has to learn german as a foreign language.
Of course there are always some exceptional cases, as we can see in the first posting of this thread, but this is something one just has to learn.

Sorry again if my posting sound a little critical, I don't want to insult anyone.
Just ask you to love and to care for your language.. it is great.

Just my 2cents :icon_kiss:

SallyO'Sews
September 11th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Kerstin, it just makes my blood boil (that's a euphemism for being really angry) that US schools don't teach proper English. They haven't for years. In the 1960's and '70's, it became unfashionable in schools of education (i.e. colleges and universities that train teachers) to force poor little children to actually have to master their own native tongue. Of course it is much easier to entertain children than to require of them that they work hard. A report came out from some bastion of higher thinking that put the blame for "why Johnny can't read" on teachers. They were failing to motivate Johnny to learn in school. The fact that Johnny's parents were not motivating him at home to just do what the teacher said or face the consequences at home seemed to have been lost on the educational establishment. Parents were told it is wrong to discipline children. Young teachers were told that they must praise their students, even if they are accomplishing nothing. To make children learn actual facts - whether what 25% of number, the correct use of "there", "their", and "they're", or the names of all 50 states and their capitals - was considered cruel and unusual punishment. So a couple of generations later, we have "creative spelling" and fifth-graders who do not know any math facts. But never fear, American children have great self-esteem! They think they are smarter than other children around the world! The worst of this is that parents with middle- and lower-incomes are often not aware that we are hamstringing both the teacher and the student; teachers aren't allowed to teach, and students aren't allowed to learn in these groups. BUT parents who have college educations generally know how to use correct grammar at home and correct their children's speech. SO... which group of children do you think has an easier time getting into the more competitive colleges, or excelling once they get there?

Sorry... getting off my soapbox now... :0

Gayle Russell
September 11th, 2013, 02:05 PM
I really admire those of you who are bilingual, or multi-lingual (able to speak more than one language). I live in south Texas where Spanish is as common as English and I have a hard time, esp with the grammar!
BTW-those of us here in America speak American, not English! (insert big laugh). Have you ever tried to have a conversation with some one from England? :)

mamaquilt
September 11th, 2013, 03:05 PM
Well this is a very interesting thread. Actually English is my fourth language and I think I don't have to many problems with it.
My advice for learning a foreign language quickly: visit (alone ) the country where the language is spoken and stay there until you dream in that language. I bet you will have no problems with that language ever again. I know from experience.
my native language is Luxembourgish, what we speak in our daily life, at the age of 6 (first year of primary school) we learn German, at the age of 7 (second year of primary school) it is French. Which is our administrative language. Entering High school we've to learn English. Then we're 12 years old. Then some taking old languages have Latin as well as Greek. Those taking modern languages may choose in between SPanish, Portugiuse and lately lots take Japanese or Chinese. The ones who take the two latter ones, are doing economics and politics in their University career.
I stopped after English, but went to evening courses for 3 years to learn some Spanish. During our vacation this spring in Palma, I got complimented on my Spanish. That felt very good for an old lady.
Since I live in such a small country, we have to learn so many languages and we speak them currently since we're able to practise (now is it practise or practice?) every day, And that is the problem in America, you can't practice (se) enough once you learned it.

Now I get back into my sewing room and work with Bertha (my sewing machine). She's Swiss by the way and hopefully either Schwytzerdütsch or Frenchswiss or Italianswiss (I'm able to read Italian and also Dutch) speaking, as I don't speak Raetoroman.

Hulamoon
September 11th, 2013, 03:29 PM
You wouldn't think Hawaii had a foreign language because it is the US after all. There is the Hawaiian language that some speak really well. But there is the language of Pidgin. You have to live here a really long time to get some of it. And some people off the boat like to impress too much and go over board on it. They were trying to ban it from schools. I did at home. It makes you sound totally stupid sometimes. It's like rap and who can outdo each other. I'll be at a party and talk to someone but just talk regular. It makes for an interesting conversation. lol

Eye of Hawaii - Pidgin, The Unofficial Language of Hawaii (http://www.eyeofhawaii.com/Pidgin/pidgin.htm)

Andrea F
September 11th, 2013, 08:10 PM
First of all, Lisa and Dolores, thank you very much for the wonderful compliment :D

Lorie, thank you so much too! I already looked the book up and there is the seventh edition now. I will get one when I am back from vacation.



Andrea, I = nominative case (Ich); me = objective case (mich, mir)
One of the best basic grammar textbooks I know is published by A Beka Book in Pensacola, Florida: they have an excellent series of grammar texts for grades 7 - 12 (ages 12 - 18); you might also try this: Grammar and Punctuation | The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (http://www.grammarbook.com/)
I spent 10 years teaching school, and I love grammar. Please feel free to send me a private message if you have any questions!

Sally, thank you so much too! I will look for this book as well when I am back. And thank you for the offer to ask you questions. I will do so for sure if I come across some difficulties, which is pretty likely to occur. The explanation regarding I and Me already helped a lot! Correct grammar and punctuation is pretty important for me regarding my work as Iīve been writing my first scientific article in english for the last past months and will hopefully be able to submit it soon and write some more in the future. And honestly I just hate to make mistakes and aim for perfection if possible.

I am now headed to Turkey for vacation for the next ten days. Wishing everybody a great time! See you all soon :D

Hulamoon
September 11th, 2013, 08:38 PM
I think grammar went out the door when people just wanted to express themselves. And that was a long time ago. So I was supposed to put a comma in front of And, and make it a better sentence. And then then put a comma in front of So. Who writes like that?

You are not supposed to start with but, so, and, because. Who the heck cares?

SallyO'Sews
September 11th, 2013, 10:38 PM
The point of grammar rules is so that everyone knows exactly what you're trying to express. A great book came out a few years ago that illustrated this perfectly:

"The panda eats shoots and leaves." This sentence is contrasted with "The panda eats, shoots, and leaves."

There's a great picture of a panda leaving a saloon, holding a smoking gun.

Hulamoon
September 12th, 2013, 01:38 AM
Shouldn't it be 'the panda drinks, shoots, and leaves' :D

WendyI
September 12th, 2013, 11:31 AM
this is an awesome thread!

I tutored a Chinese student once. We went to a bookstore and he picked up an English dictionary and told me that should I pick ANY word from the book he could tell me it's meaning without issue. He had memorized the entire thing. But he said "I cannot use the words well in a sentence. For example when you ask someone 'how are you' and they reply 'just fine'...what does just mean"? I had no answer! I mean we use this language all the time and have NO idea what we are really saying if we have to explain some of it. LOL! I worry about the death of languages. As we develop more and more technology our lingo is starting to permeate other languages. The language of science is English which is great for us but maybe not for others.

Hulamoon
September 12th, 2013, 11:47 AM
Wendy while I was reading 'just fine', I was thinking you almost have to be looking at the person to see if there is a smile or a snarl. That gives it a whole other meaning. My dd was helping a Japanese student here and I read some of the emails. It was really interesting.

MartinaG
September 12th, 2013, 03:47 PM
Yes, learning a different language is so much more than putting together the right words in the correct order. There is that niggely bit called syntax.

Hulamoon
September 12th, 2013, 11:40 PM
Yes, learning a different language is so much more than putting together the right words in the correct order. There is that niggely bit called syntax.

When I started college I had to go take a test for English. It will put you in the right class. Lower or higher. Sitting in front of a computer re- arranging sentences and paragraphs for as long as needed. I told my daughters to please study or you will have to start in the lowest class. One listened the other didn't. The one that didn't got a degree and the other quit. Funny how things work out.