An Ode to the English Plural
We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!
Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in
eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England . 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?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of
them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop???
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
There are things about me that I hate. I’ve built up mole hills and I’ve knocked down mountains and I’ve seen me tumble from the clouds into the fire and I’ve seen me rise from the ashes and soar to the heavens one too many times. There are things about me that keep me silent, that keep a smile across my face as the days fill up and the nights slip away. There is darkness that light can’t touch and a blinding illumination that keeps the shadow confined to the skinniest hiding spots. Neither are the truth. Neither are the definition of me. But both get their time in on the soap box. Both get their equal share of my thoughts. So as I swing back and forth, all I can ask is that I don’t jump in any one direction, that I don’t launch into the light or into the dark. I just want to get off and get some sleep. I just want to put my feet on the ground and look at the pendulum from the safety of a park bench. There are cracks and chips and divots and flaws that make be proud to be beautifully damaged.