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A difficult language

I came across this poem on social media this morning. I had to share it.

I realise that English is so difficult to learn because so much of it doesn't make sense. It looks like we're breaking language rules all the time, and don't get me started on pronunciation!

This poem shows a few things that on the surface make no sense at all, and pokes fun at the English language.

Stupid English poem.jpg

Now that you've had a read of it, I'll show the correct words for you, just in case! Sometimes the reasons for these differences are because the roots of the words come from other languages. English speakers over the ages have tended to take the words from other languages and have added them to our vocabulary, which can lead to some confusion. However, this is not always the reason for the difference as you can see below.

We have one box, two boxes (from old English, Latin, and Greek roots)

One ox, two oxen (from old German)

One goose, two geese (old English)

One moose, two moose (Algonquian)

One mouse, two mice (old English)

One house, two houses (old English)

One man, two men (old English)

One pan, two pans (old English)

One foot, two feet (old English)

One book, two books (old English)

One tooth, two teeth (old English)

One booth, two booths (old Danish)

One like this, but two like these (middle English)

One kiss, two kisses (old English)

One brother, two brothers and also two brethren (but we hardly ever use that one) (old English)

One mother, two mothers (old English)

He, his, him (old English)

She, hers, her (old English)

Very confusing!

So if you want to make sure your plurals are correct, drop me a line here at fixmyenglish.com.au and I'll happily edit your paper.

Ruth AmosComment