The First Hundred

...in the light of eternity. "Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." Wilson Mizner

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Craziest Language

How fun it is, observing the grandkids as they start communicating. Gestures begin to make sense and random sounds become intelligible words. It's amazing how quickly these little ones can make themselves understood!
I hope they'll have the opportunity and blessing of learning more than one language some day. One thing I know for sure: any second language they learn will be much easier than their mother tongue, which happens to be English. Consider the following poem, which my son (a first grade bi-lingual teacher) recently emailed me.

The Craziest Language

We'll begin with a box and the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.

Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese;

Yet the plural 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 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 three 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.

So English, I fancy, you will agree,

Is the craziest language you ever did see.

Author - Unknown

8 Comments:

  • At 12/03/2005 8:39 PM, Blogger Kc said…

    So true. I think my youngest considered it so difficult she put off using it as long as she could. ;-)

     
  • At 12/03/2005 10:23 PM, Blogger uncle joe said…

    I tried to sing that with a rap beat and got so tongue tied and confused I threw my boom box down and screamed "Why? Dr. Seuss! Why?"

     
  • At 12/06/2005 6:50 AM, Blogger andré said…

    funny text!
    but I don't think english is "that" hard to learn. when you first learned portuguese, didn't you find it hard?

    for instance, I'm trying (and failing miserably at my attempt) to learn German. and is that thing complicated or what?? But I still want to learn it. Most of the people on my girlfriend's family speak german, and they're used to speaking it around the house, and I don't want them to have to keep translating stuff for me.

     
  • At 12/06/2005 8:25 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said…

    English likes to break all its own language rules, just to be mean.
    I love when little ones start learning to talk. What fun it is to hear them!

     
  • At 12/06/2005 10:27 PM, Blogger Jayne said…

    Green Eggs and Ham said Sam.

    ...sorry, I couldn't help it! It was just screaming at me. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again!

    I'm in Milwaukee, so I can sympathize with the snow and cold. It was all of 8 here today. Yes, 8 little degrees! Burr.... :)

     
  • At 12/07/2005 8:34 PM, Blogger curious servant said…

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog lately. I am grateful.

     
  • At 12/08/2005 5:50 PM, Blogger Ron said…

    Seeker,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I came to visit, and I was greeted with this wonderful rhyme that reminded me of Dr. Seuss in those boyish years! It was really great! I look forward to communicating more with you in the future!

     
  • At 12/11/2005 11:34 AM, Blogger McSwain said…

    How funny! I just wrapped a semester of class on teaching literacy for K-2 grade (for my credential), and this is great!

     

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