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An Excerpt from the Introduction
by Richard Lederer
[Many of these are mere wordplay, but
several are linguistic anomalies. One interesting thing the
author doesn't note is that in English one tells a lie, but
the truth. Try explaining that to a six-year-old. -ojo]
Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is
no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor
pine in pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in
England or french fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies,
while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat.
We take English for granted. But if
we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work
slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither
from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write,
but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and
hammers don’t ham? 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, two indices? Is cheese
the plural of choose?
If teachers taught, why didn’t
preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does
a humanitarian eat?
In what language do people recite at
a play and play at a recital? 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 a wise guy are opposites?
How can the weather be hot as hell one day an cold as hell
When a house burns up, it burns down.
You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes
off by going on.
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?
Now I know why I flunked my English.
It’s not my fault; the silly language doesn’t
quite know whether it’s coming or going.
From -- http://www.ojohaven.com/fun/crazy.html
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't
mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt
tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.
The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit
porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
According to a researcher
(sic) at Cambridge University, it doesn't matter in what order
the letters in a word are, the only important thing is that
the first and last letter be at the right place. The rest
can be a total mess and you can still read it without problem.
This is because the human mind does not read every letter
by itself but the word as a whole.
De aorcdo com uma pesqiusa de uma uinrvesriddae ignlsea, não
ipomtra em qaul odrem as lrteas de uma plravaa etãso,
a úncia csioa iprotmatne é que a piremria e
útmlia lrteas etejasm no lgaur crteo. O rseto pdoe
ser uma ttaol bçguana que vcoê pdoe anida ler
sem pobrlmea. Itso é poqrue nós não lmeos
cdaa lrtea isladoa, mas a plravaa cmoo um tdoo.
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