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Words and Idioms

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by melbo, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    They say that the English language is difficult for non-native speakers to learn. I run into difficulties explaining certain words and grammar rules to my 4 year old daughter.

    Here are a few:

    Why do flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

    Why behead and not dehead?

    Mouse:mice. louse:lice. house:hice houses?

    I'm sure some of you can add to this list.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    goose, geese?
    moose, meese?
  3. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Part of the problem is

    That English is a hybrid language comprised of an amalgamation of mainly germanic, romance (mainly french and latin but bits of other "latin" languages)and celtic languages, together with words of greek origin and a smattering of borrowings from other languages from all over the world. It is hardly surprising that English spelling, grammar and pronunciation do not always follow consistent rules.

    At least English can be spoken without sounding as if one is expectorating instead of speaking.
    : O
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2015
    Mountainman likes this.
  4. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

  5. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    english isnt a language
    its a conglomeration of languages
    developed by a people that were so interbred with outside tribes
    and mixed with so many cultures...it should be called "muttlage"
  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    It gets real interesting here in the South.

    Some world wide universal words are Dollar, Cold Beer, and the middle finger works all over the world.
  7. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I will defer from this post...
    My English is deplorable...
    I speak the language of Mutt's...
  8. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Whiskey= Osakia...Down here...

  9. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    It's interesting that the 'twangy' dialect of TN and KY resembles the Irish and Scottish roots of the people who first settled there.

    This also explains the preoccupation with hard, dark, drinkable spirits.
  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

  11. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    My wife gets (an forwards) tons of these to me from work. She teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) 5th Graders in a totally English immersed environment, and always laughs at how complex English truly is, and how hard it is for people to wrap their minds around this chaotic language:
  12. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I like this!!
  13. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    English can create some very severe complications, to wit:
    If: the plural of mouse is mice,....
    and the plural of louse is lice,.....
    then why isn't the plural of spouse, "spice"?
    See...that got me into a PECK of trouble there!
    Some women have absolutely NO sense of humor whatsoever!
    I've found a couple already personally!
  14. Opinionated

    Opinionated Monkey+

    This all confuses me. I don't speak English. I speak 'merican. ;)

    Yup, this whole thread has me fit to be tied.
  15. seeker

    seeker Monkey+

    Pare the pair of pears., please.
    dragonfly and Falcon15 like this.
  16. Falcon15

    Falcon15 Falco Peregrinus

    It is a strange language in which skating on thin ice can get you in hot water.
    On English Pronunciation:
  17. Mechwolf

    Mechwolf Monkey+

    You Sir have far too much time on your hands!!! I quite reading after about the 15th line.
    Falcon15 likes this.
  18. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    A man went berserk with a combine harvester

    and destroyed wheat crops on several farms....in a statement by the local police chief, he said...."these are serious crimes...and we are taking all steps to apprehend this criminal... we are looking for a cereal killer."
  19. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    the biggest word in english..."if"
    Tracy and Falcon15 like this.
  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I'm sure you will enjoy this. I never knew one word in the English language that can be a noun, verb, adj, adv, prep.


    Read until the end ... you'll laugh.

    This two-letter word in English has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that word is
    'UP.' It is listed in the dictionary as an [adv], [prep], [adj], (n) or [v].

    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, brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and fix UP the old car.

    At other times, this little word has real special meaning. People stir
    UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

    To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed
    UP is special.

    And this
    UP is confusing: 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 UP the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4 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 soaks UP the earth. When it does not rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now . . . my time is UP!

    Oh . . . one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?



    Did that one crack you

    Don't screw
    UP. Send this on to everyone you look UP in your address book . . . or not . . . it's UP to you.

    Now I'll shut
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