English is a Crazy Language!

大學時「新聞英文文獻選讀」課中曾經閱讀過一篇童詩(應該算童詩吧?),篇中直言英文是個「令人抓狂」的語言。

究竟是怎麼個「令人抓狂」法?各位看官就繼續往下看唄:

Lets face it,
English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in the eggplant,
No ham in the hamburger,
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England;
French fries were not invented in France.

Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads,
Which aren’t sweet, are meat.

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?
Grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham.
If the plural of tooth is teeth,
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese?
One index, two indices.

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends,
But not one amend?
That you comb through the annals of history,
But not a single annal?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends
And get rid of all but one of them,
What do you call it?

If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught?
If you wrote a letter,
Perhaps you bote your tongue.

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?

How can the weather be as hot as hell on one day
And as cold as hell on another?
Why do noses run and feet smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
How can overlook and oversee be opposites,
While quite a lot and quite a few are alike?

Have you noticed that we talk about
Certain things only when they are absent?
Have you ever seen a horseful carriage
Or a strapful gown?

Have you met a sung hero
Or experienced requited love?
Have you every run into someone who was
Combobulated, gruntled, ruly, or peccable?
And where are all those people
Who ARE spring chickens
Or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

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
And a bell is only heard once it goes!
Sometimes I think all the English speakers
Should be committed to an
Asylum for the verbally insane.
English was invented by people, not computers,
And it reflects the creativity of the human race;
Which of course isn’t a race at all.

That is why
When the stars are out they are visible,
But when the lights are out they are invisible.
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts,
But when I wind up this poem
It ends.

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