I discovered this post was lost and decided to re-post it. Its fun Friday and I woke up smarting for war. Not that my resumption at work is too far (I’m looking forward to resuming on Monday) but I need to dissipate some energy and I needed something or someone to get annoyed with. My tailor escaped, he delivered my trousers yesterday- two days after he promised, and that was his best time ever. That meant I couldn’t get annoyed. Ok, then I remembered the only subject that made me sit for SS3 final examinations – English. After having failed to meet the required grade in my earlier qualifying examinations, I finally blasted the exams, when one of my extra lesson teachers told me the secret – English is not logic, it is meant for the asylum; it’s a crazy language.
Or how else can I classify this confusing language? I books tight has copyright- does that not mean anyone can copy it so far you “copy it right”? I decided to look for articles that relate to the absurdity of English as a language. Have you realised you commit ‘plagiarism’ when you copy one source, but when you quote many sources, you are commended for a good research? Or how else can you classify a language that says the word ‘look’ and ‘see’ mean the same thing, but list the words ‘overlook’ and ‘oversee’ as opposites?
Mr Samoah, my Erudite Ghanaian teacher in primary school said the past tense of teach is taught, but I was told the past tense of preach is preached, shouldn’t it be ‘praught’? what special status does preach have?
I simply got fed up and asked why a runny nose has no feet and a smelly feet has no nose? I understand when I’m told teachers teach, but fingers? Do they fing? Do hammers contain ham? I really don’t understand.
You really cannot even rationalise especially when you know rings round but the boxing ring is a square? Why in the world are French fries are alien to the French? It is only in this witty language that says the fire alarm went off when it actually went on. I feel uneasy when someone is said to be a humanitarian when I actually know what a vegetarian eats are vegetables.
Sweetbreads are neither sweet nor bread- it is actually the pancreas of an animal. It is also interesting to know that guinea pigs don’t come from Guinea and they are not pigs. How come English only qualifies certain objects and persons when it’s qualities are absent? Or have you ever seen a “strapful gown”, or met a “sung hero”, or a guy who was “gruntled,” “ruly,” or “peccable”?
But then, English helps me connect with people from other languages, and has been the one of the greatest channels of communication through the lineage of the human race…. human race? Where are the tracks? Ok, I really need to wind up this essay because I’m getting more confused. Of course, when I’m winding up my watch, I’m starting it.