English is Funny

English is funny … meaning it’s hard, crazy, strange, and confusing!

As you can tell by now, Language is one of my favorite subjects. I so enjoy helping my first graders learn it. But, poor babies, look what they have ahead of them - way in their future! The authors are anonymous.


English is Hard

The bandage was wound around the wound.

The farm was used to produce produce.

The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture.

He could lead if he would get the lead out.

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

I did not object to the object.

The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

It was a windy day on a windy road. English is funny.

After a number of injections my jaw got number.

Please be discrete about each discreet item.

The United Nations sometimes sanctions the imposition of sanctions on an evil dictator.

They were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when does are present.

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The farmer shed his clothes in the shed.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Our language reflects the creativity of the human race – which, of course, isn’t a race at all.

Let's face it ... English is funny!

There is no egg in eggplant, nor any ham in hamburger.

Neither apple nor pine is in pineapple.

English muffins weren't invented in England.

French fries were not invented in France.

Sweetmeats are candies; they are not meat. And sweetbreads - which are not sweet - are meat.

Quicksand can work slowly. Boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.

Writers write, but fingers don't fing.

Grocers don't groce. Hammers don't ham.

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth?

One goose, two geese ... So why isn’t it one moose, two meese? One index, two indices?

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's left? A bunch of … ?

If the teachers taught, why didn't the preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.

We recite at a play, and play at a recital.

We ship by truck and send cargo by ship.

We have noses that run and feet that smell!


English is Crazy

How can we comb through annals of history - but not a single annal?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

Overlook and oversee are opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike.

English is funny!

Your house can burn up as it burns down.

You fill in a form by filling it out.

Your alarm goes off by going on.

How can the weather be hot as hell one day, and cold as hell another?

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the car lights are out, they are invisible. English is funny!


English is Strange

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of mouse is never meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a whole nest of mice,

But 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 pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?

Yes, English is funny ...

If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?

While one may be that, and three would be those,

Yet hat in the plural is never hose,

And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,

But a bow if repeated is never called bine,

And the plural of vow is vows, never vine.

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!


English is Confusing

English is funny ... Could this be the two-letter word that has more meanings than any other two-letter word?

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP, and why are the officers UP for election?

Why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends.

And we use different things to brighten UP a room and polish UP the silver.

We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning, but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the correct uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.

In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.

It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP … you may wind UP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.

When the sun comes out, we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

But when it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now.

The time is UP to shut UP!


Yes, English is funny, hard, crazy, strange, and confusing! But what can we say except that we the people are the ones who invented it?

At this point in time, we can’t go back and change it ... So I work hard to help my students master the first grade English skills, and try my very best to see that they enjoy it. I know I do!

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