Friday, March 28, 2008

Why English is so hard

I will be curious to see if anyone needs a translation or clarification on these!
Reasons why the English language is so hard to learn:

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.


Lara said...

hahaha, thanks! I'll use these in class!

George Townboy said...

That's awesome! I love it, thanks for the laugh!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

These are fun!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Now Now... whats all this... laughing at the English.. how dare you.. ha!
We make the language confusing on perpose to confuse you foreigners. LOL

And we spell 'Colour' like this just to drive you mad..

Top Ten Stupid English Words

At 10 - “saw” and “sore”.

Okay English is famous for its homonyms, but why just 2 spelling for three meanings?
I saw you
I saw the wood
I have a sore finger
And why is neither of them spelt the most obvious way of “sor”?

At 9 - “sure”.

Okay need I say anything? Its stars with as “sh” sound and ends with an “or” sound. Surely it should be “shor”?

At 8 - “work” and “walk”.

Sounded out properly “work” should read as “werk”, but no is reads as “walk”. And as for how “walk” is spelt – why?

At 7 - “know’.

They wanted this spelt differently from the same sounding word of “no”, and the solution was to put a silent “k” on the front and a silent “w” at the end!

At 6 - “night” and “knight”.

So what’s this all about? Try sounding these out? Surely “night” should be spelt as “nite”? and then they added a silent “k” at the beginning to make “knight” different from “night”. And there is some logic to this?

At 5 - “a”.

Now you think that even English could get a one letter work correct, but no – surely it should be as it’s pronounced, “u”?

At 4 - “once”

Surely this should be spelt “wuns”? So only one letter in the word actually carries with it the correct sound. That is the “n” but it’s in the wrong place! The “n” sound comes third, after the “w” and the “u”.

At 3 - “who” and “how”.

Every dyslexics’ nightmare words. “How” could be said to be correctly sounded out but what about “who”? Just about every dyslexic I have ever worked with writes “who” as “how” at some time.

At 2 - “though”, “through” and “thought”.

Why does English spelling insist on all these silent “g”s and “h”s? Also these words are particularly stupid because the “ough” is sounded in three completely different ways in these words.
1 in “though” it is sounded as an “O”<
2 in “through” it is sounded as “oo”
3 and in “thought” it is sounded as “or”

Finally, at number 1 we have “minute” and “minute”!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any stupider we have 2 words spelt the same that mean different things and are pronounced differently.
1 as “minit” means a small space in time
2 as “mInUte” meaning very small!
Found that on

marley said...

This is funny! Its interesting how the brain automatically knows how to read the words to form the correct sentence :)

Hyde DP said...

ah yes this has been doing the rounds for donkeys years - I'll resist adding owt to what tom said and say nowt no mooir!

Lynette said...

Superb, Neva, simply superb!

isabella said...

I almost feel sorry for students of English...I said "almost" because I've studied some foreign languages...and now I feel vindicated!

GR8UMPS3 said...

It's a fair day to go to the Fair.

alice said...

I'm French, so I think the ways you use "i" is quite ...funny: to live, a life, a recipe, identity, idol and idiot, and so many other jokes...;-). But I know French language is full of traps so I forgive you, English speakers!

USAincognito said...

I think they say that besides Chinese, learning American English is the hardest language to learn.

Lilli & Nevada said...

This is funny, i am German born and bred, I moved to the US in 1959, speaking no English,to this day I still have problems....this is good.

Anonymous said...

My favorite ones are minute (small), minute (unit of time), and minutae (little details)...

Jeff said...

I can't understand where you are coming from. You say that "we" spell it colour just to drive us crazy. Why add the U when it is a "silent letter?"

As for the 10 stupid words:
#10: saw and sore
I am pretty sure that the majority of people don't pronounce saw "sor." Its pretty clear to me that saw and sore are different words.

#8: Work and walk
"but no is reads as “walk”." What the hell does this mean?

#5: "a"
Who pronounces "a" like u? Anyone else confused as i am with #5?

#3: "who and how"
According to the center for dyslexia, about 15% of people have dyslexia.

#2: "though, through, thought"
While these words are very confusing (i had problems learning to spell these in elementary school), I want to know who pronounces "thought" with "or."

#1: "minute and minute"
Homographs are very easy to recognize within the context of a sentence or phrase. Homographs are just a part languages and would not qualify as "stupid" to me.

That being said, if i had to change anything about the english language, i would make funner, and funnest words. Who wants to say "this is more fun than that."

Peter said...

English is basically and comparatively supposed to be a rather easy language to learn... except fot the exceptions and there you have a number!

mrsnesbitt said...

Hey, you should try teaching this stuff to children! LOL!

Sharon said...

Wonderful! I have a question: If the past tense of teach is taught, why isn't the past tense of preach praught?

I teach phonics to second graders. OH MY at the rules that were all made to be broken!

Petunia said...

I agree!

Julie at Virtual Nexus said...

Good post - though guess most Brits would avoid putting two similar words together in any meaningful context; and English is definitely one of the hardest languages to learn because of the high level of idiom.

Called in from George, btw.

Anonymous said...

I love the English Language as spoken in the USA. Lead and I will get the Lead out. Every one of these can be revised to include several new statements.

Give it a try.
Thanks for the fun.

Suburbia said...

Thanks for visiting my place! I love this post and it is very close to my heart as both my children are dyslexic.I also support children who find language hard at school. If you don't mind I'd like to copoy it and post it up in the staff room at work?!

Suburbia said...

Oh well I tried. The computer won't let me copy that! I guess I'll try the pen and pencil way, if I ever find the time!!

Guild Director said...

This is great! Then there are the "close" words such as consolation and constellation that can catch the tongue!