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 and French fries not in France.
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
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?
You comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?What language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? We ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?Park on driveways and drive on parkways? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites?
How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike?
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 clock 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, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
Last Updated 12/01/09