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Thread: Tricky English Language

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    Tricky English Language

    This is just a poem I stumbled across about English. I hope that all learners of English (and the natives) get a little kick out of this.

    I believe Dr. Suess wrote it...not sure though.

    ==============================================

    We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes.
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese.
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
    But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
    And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
    But I give 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?
    If the singular is this and plural is these,
    Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
    So our English, I think you will all agree,
    Is the trickiest language you ever did see.

  2. #2
    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    Unfortunately there are a lot of exceptions in grammar rules which could drive anybody bonkers, and like we say languages are not maths.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Hey Spiderkat,
    Where did you ever pick up the word "maths"? That is not a word in AmE. You must be a visitor from the UK.

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    Завсегдатай mishau_'s Avatar
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    If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
    В планетарии показывают планеты, а в колумбарии?

    В пару козе мы поставим козла, у стрекозы не найти стрекозла.
    Если у телки есть пара - телОк, верно ль у белки парой будет белок?
    (тоже можно дофига найти)

    In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? - ну, играть в постановке и ставить игру (артиста) - мало отличается.
    English Edition

    В обычных странах церковь отделена от государства, а в России - от Бога.

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Reminds me of another interesting poem. Read it out loud with a French accent

    A fresh hack at an old knot - Charles Battell Loomis

    I'm taught p-l-o-u-g-h
    S'all be pronounc
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaika
    Hey Spiderkat,
    Where did you ever pick up the word "maths"? That is not a word in AmE. You must be a visitor from the UK.
    You've just revealed my identity to everybody... . Just kidding. Actually my French took over on this word.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

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    Meh, it's short for Mathematics, so the short form is Maths.

    If you look at other words that are plural but shortened, the S remains.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

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    Re: Tricky English Language

    Quote Originally Posted by saibot
    This is just a poem I stumbled across about English. I hope that all learners of English (and the natives) get a little kick out of this.

    I believe Dr. Suess wrote it...not sure though.

    ==============================================

    We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes.
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese.
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
    But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
    And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
    But I give 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?
    If the singular is this and plural is these,
    Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
    So our English, I think you will all agree,
    Is the trickiest language you ever did see.
    Cute saibot

    I never heard of the word "kine". I did a google image search and I didn't see any cows. Apparently it is a female name since I see several pictures of women.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    Well I found this definition:

    cattle: domesticated bovine animals as a group regardless of sex or age; "so many head of cattle"; "wait till the cows come home"; "seven thin and ill-favored kine"- Bible; "a team of oxen"

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    Well, if "kine" means "cattle", then I think it may be a bad idea to name your daughter "Kine".

    But then again, скот means cattle in Russian.
    Какая разница, умереть богатым или бедным?

    Какой толк от богатства если ты не счастлив.

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    In the last book of Lukianenko ("The Last Watch") there was a company called "Scottish colours". OK, it's stupid, but it was very-very funny for me, when one Russian boy called it "скотские краски"
    My English isn't so good, зато с русским все в порядке ))
    I'll be very thankful, if you correct my mistakes.

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    Re: Tricky English Language

    Quote Originally Posted by saibot
    This is just a poem I stumbled across about English. I hope that all learners of English (and the natives) get a little kick out of this.

    I believe Dr. Suess wrote it...not sure though.

    ==============================================

    We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes.
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese.
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
    But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
    And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
    But I give 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?
    If the singular is this and plural is these,
    Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
    So our English, I think you will all agree,
    Is the trickiest language you ever did see.
    Nice poem, saibot!!! Where did you stumble up on this poem? On the web? I'm asking because there may be more such poems in that place
    Honestly, I think there are far more exceptions in Russian than in English.

    Meh, it's short for Mathematics, so the short form is Maths.

    If you look at other words that are plural but shortened, the S remains.
    If you were from the US you'd say that Math is the correct way of contracting the word 'Mathematics'. As far as I know: Math - AmE, Maths - BrE. There should also be significant difference in the pronunciation.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
    Mark Twain
    American author/essayist (1835-1910)
    WHSmith

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    Re: Tricky English Language

    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    Quote Originally Posted by saibot
    This is just a poem I stumbled across about English. I hope that all learners of English (and the natives) get a little kick out of this.

    I believe Dr. Suess wrote it...not sure though.

    ==============================================

    We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes.
    But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
    Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese.
    Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
    You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice,
    But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
    If the plural of man is always called men,
    When couldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

    The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
    But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
    And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
    But I give 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?
    If the singular is this and plural is these,
    Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

    Then one may be that, and three may be those,
    Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
    We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
    But though we say mother, we never say methren.

    The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
    But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
    So our English, I think you will all agree,
    Is the trickiest language you ever did see.
    Nice poem, saibot!!! Where did you stumble up on this poem? On the web? I'm asking because there may be more such poems in that place
    Honestly, I think there are far more exceptions in Russian than in English.

    Meh, it's short for Mathematics, so the short form is Maths.

    If you look at other words that are plural but shortened, the S remains.
    If you were from the US you'd say that Math is the correct way of contracting the word 'Mathematics'. As far as I know: Math - AmE, Maths - BrE. There should also be significant difference in the pronunciation.
    Honestly, I don't remember where I got it. I remember I saved it to my computer a while ago, with the intent of posting it here, but I never got around to it.

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    but I never got around to it.
    Really? It seemed to me that you got around to it the other day.....
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
    Mark Twain
    American author/essayist (1835-1910)
    WHSmith

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReDSanchous
    but I never got around to it.
    Really? It seemed to me that you got around to it the other day.....
    Yeah..I meant to post it sooner (like 3 months ago) but I never got around to it until yesterday.

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    All right, I got it! Better sooner than never.
    "A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read"
    Mark Twain
    American author/essayist (1835-1910)
    WHSmith

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    Почтенный гражданин capecoddah's Avatar
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    The "rules" of the English language were best summarized by my 9th grade teacher "English language rules were invented by a bunch of guys that went out and got drunk"...
    English is different in England and USA (and other places)
    French is different in France, Canada & Haiti
    Spanish is a whole topic of countries.
    Every language has subtleties and nuances that take a long time to figure out. Keep trying is all I do. I've learned Russian from people from Moscow, St.Pete, Kiev, Odessa,& Minsk. They don't all agree, but I try to make the best of it.
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    You've probably all seen this classic one before, but maybe not so here.... You can aslo hear it here http://www.learnenglish.de/EZine/pronunciation2.htm



    I take it you already know
    Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
    Others may stumble but not you
    On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.
    Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
    To learn of less familiar traps?

    Beware of heard, a dreadful word
    That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
    And dead, it's said like bed, not bead-
    for goodness' sake don't call it 'deed'!
    Watch out for meat and great and threat
    (they rhyme with suite and straight and debt).

    A moth is not a moth in mother,
    Nor both in bother, broth, or brother,
    And here is not a match for there,
    Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
    And then there's doze and rose and lose-
    Just look them up- and goose and choose,
    And cork and work and card and ward
    And font and front and word and sword,
    And do and go and thwart and cart-
    Come, I've hardly made a start!

    A dreadful language? Man alive!
    I learned to speak it when I was five!
    And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
    I'll not learn how 'til the day I die.

  20. #20
    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    Actually you could compare languages to something else, to laws for example. The new country creates its own language and own laws which are based on an existing language and laws.
    At some point the language is named differently because it's no longer what it was at the first place (slightly different or completely different), for example English became American English, French became Quebec French, and so forth.
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

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