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self index.cfm
site_filepath /www/sites/mfapp/templates/main/
 
Alan Trachtenberg, Md  
     
     
REASONS WHY THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS SO HARD TO LEARN:

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
2. The farm was used to produce produce.
3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was
time to present the present.
8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10. I did not object to the object.
11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13. They were too close to the door to close it.
14. The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into the sewer.
16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
19. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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 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, 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. 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 English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? 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.

English was invented by people and not computers and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

P.S. Why doesn't BUICK rhyme with QUICK?



Irish Historical Resources (from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ancientireland/resources.html):


RTE: In Search of Ancient Ireland
http://www.rte.ie/tv/ancientireland
The Irish National Public Service Broadcasting Organisation's
companion site to the IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT IRELAND
documentary.

CELT: The Corpus of Electronic Texts
http://www.ucc.ie/celt/
U.C.C.'S online resource for Irish history, literature, and
politics. CELT, the Corpus of Electronic Texts, brings the
wealth of Irish literary and historical culture to the Internet.
It has a searchable online database consisting of
contemporary and historical topics.

Chronicon
http://www.ucc.ie/chronicon/
An online journal of medieval history, with a focus on Irish
history, published by the History Department at Ireland's
University College, Cork. The University's Web site also
hosts the Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland,
edited by Professor Donnchadh Ó Corráin.

Four Courts Press
http://www.four-courts-press.ie
A major publisher of Celtic and medieval books worldwide,
Four Courts Press features books by Donnchadh Ó Corráin
and many other contributors to IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT
IRELAND.

Electronic Irish Records Dataset
http://www.pgil-eirdata.org/
An excellent resource for Irish data, this "scholar's
notebook" is supported by the Ireland Fund of Monaco.

Newgrange & Knowth Megalithic Passage Tombs
http://www.knowth.com/
Information on the ancient Neolithic tombs built on the east
coast of Ireland years before England's Stonehenge and the
Pyrimids of Giza in Egypt.

Irish National Heritage Park
http://www.inhp.com/
This site provides information on Irish history from the
Stone Age through the Norman invasion.

Prehistoric Music in Ireland
http://homepage.eircom.net/~bronzeagehorns/
Web site detailing the exciting recent discoveries of Bronze
Age horns and other instruments of ancient Ireland.