As it turns out, even people who would generally qualify as literate (at least in the US), do, at least on occasion, demonstrate that languages can be subject to amusing circumstances and situations, so I thought I’d feature a few examples, by way of entertainment.
Here’s an example of how even folks whose job is supposed to be making sure that language usage, spelling, and such is correct (we call them editors, he said, having served in that capacity for a whole lot of BFA thesis papers) can make mistakes, especially when they are in a hurry, or are over-tired, etc. I sympathize, but I also recognize that such mistakes can be amusing.
Parents can have difficulties with language occasionally, especially when they are being closely observed by their children. Anyone else ever been in a situation like this with their child?
There’s lots of opportunities for language-related humor, if one has a decent vocabulary and is willing to use it. I believe that I have a recollection of seeing something along this line posted on a wall in the WCU Honors College dorm at some point when I was going down the hall to visit Bonnie when she was working there as Assistant to the Dean.
English is a stupid language:
There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the hamburger, and neither pine nor apple in the pinapple.
English muffins were not invented in England.
French fries were not invented in France.
We sometimes take English for granted, but if we examine its paradoxes we find that
quicksand takes you down slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.
If writers write, how come fingers don't fing?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
If the teacher taught, why didn't the preacher praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play, yet play at a recital; park on driveways and drive on parkways?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language where a house can burn up as it burns down, and in which you fill in a form by filling it out.
I don’t know why the noun declined to conjugate.
A period walks into a bar, full stop.
An alliteration boldly bounces into a bar and later walks away with a wobble.
An onomatopoeia walks into a bar without a sound.
An incomplete sentence into a bar.
A double contraction walks into a bar although it oughtn’t’ve.
A synonym strolls into a tavern.
A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.
A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.
I suspect that that’s enough of this stuff for just about anybody at one sitting, so I’ll stop and try to regain a bit of sanity before I start work on another post. Let’s see, Halloween is approaching, so maybe I can think up something a bit less strange to write about in relation to that. What do ya wanna bet?
You can find out in a couple of weeks….
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
— Nelson Mandela
“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic; capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” ― Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“Not everything which can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
— from a sign in Albert Einstein’s office