Tuesday, March 28, 2006


My mother was an English major in college, and now she’s a world traveler. She’s traveled all over North America, Europe, and Africa. She lived in Africa for a while, courtesy of the Peace Corps. She says she’s spoken English with people all over the world, and the only ones she couldn’t understand were in England.

Its amazing how people all over the world manage to learn English, since it IS the most difficult language on earth. Difficult? How difficult could it be? After all, I learned it! Then again, there are those who would argue about that... SOME people think that words like “reckon” and “yonder” belong to some other language.

The word Oxymoronica is defined as any compilation of phrases or quotations that initially appear illogical or nonsensical, but upon reflection, make a good deal of sense and are often profoundly true. Anyone who enjoys the absurdities of the English language will love the site Oxymoronica.

Commonly Confused Words Test.

Learn lots of delicious new words at The Double-Tongued Word Wrester.

The Global Language Monitor tracks new word usage around the world.

For a serious study of the different kinds of English, see this huge amount of information on dialects.

Conversational terrorism. The intent of detailing and naming these insidious tactics is so that the reader may AVOID USING THEM, to quickly recognize if someone else is using them, and for fun. There is much humor in the way people (consciously or unconsciously) conversationally cheat.

Bad English translations.

THIS is FUNNY. English as She is Spoke.

I took a little test here...

English Genius
You scored 92% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You
have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 23% on Beginner
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 41% on Intermediate
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 63% on Advanced
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 64% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Do You Speak English?


There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP."

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 and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends, we brighten UP a room, we 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.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. 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. And this UP is confusing:

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 proper 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 UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP for now my time is UP, so it's time to shut UP!
Oh...one more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night?



Pain in the English has questions (and sometimes answers) about the odd usage of words and terms.

Blog of the day: Literally, a Weblog is dedicated to the use and misuse of one overused English word. Its a hoot!

For semantics nuts, this will provide a few days reading. Or if you have a specific question about word usage, you may find the answer here.

List of British English words not used in American English.

FTS has a story about the dangers of mixing British English with American English.


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

But the plural of ox became 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 spoke 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 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.

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?

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.

Where did this strange language come from and why do we speak it?

'Cause we don't know another, I guess...

No littering. See how hard it is to translate English?

Lots more fractured English at Engrish.com.

Funny English mistakes from new ESL students.


"Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right. (Bet you tried this out mentally, didn't you?)

Maine is the only state whose name is just one syllable. (I'll bet you're going to check this out.)

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt". (Are you doubting this?)

The sentence: "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet. (Now, you KNOW you're going to try this out for accuracy, right?)

The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes). (Yep, I knew you were going to "do" this one.)

There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous (You're not doubting this, are you?)

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: "abstemious" and "facetious." (Yes, admit it, you are going to say ...... a e i o u)

TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard. (All you typists are going to test this out)

English is the Lingua Franca par exellence!

Your Linguistic Profile:

75% General American English

20% Dixie

5% Midwestern

0% Upper Midwestern

0% Yankee

ENGLISH IS HARD! (lifted from Karen)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sleeve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.

Thought for today: English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England. -Homer Simpson


Unknown said...

Have to hand it to you I loved the post on English and the Video was a crack up;
I have been to the UK three times on holiday but their dialect yeah well as an Aussie it is hard; I have video's on both my Blogs; enjoyed it truly

Saur♥Kraut said...

Here's what I got. OK, I'm proud of it, because I was raised by an English Teacher and an Author:

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 100% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 56% on Beginner

You scored higher than 34% on Intermediate

You scored higher than 65% on Advanced

You scored higher than 57% on Expert

Thanks for the the blog today, Miss C! I enjoyed it as always!

Saur♥Kraut said...

P.S. Here's my dialect:

60% General American English
25% Yankee
10% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Gee whiz, Missy, you're just wearing me out.

Go to sleep.

Carl said...

Yer English test link is hosed, madam.

Fifty points to anyone who both parses and diagrams that sentence for me...

LZ Blogger said...

Here's acouple I just loved!
[to] blag
to obtain or achieve by deception, to bluff, to scrounge, to rob, robbery, tall story, bluff, deception
An exclamation of surprise. (Originally gor blimey, a euphemism for God blind me, but has generally lost this connotation.)
Who knew where those came from? Fun STUFF! ~ jb///

Hale McKay said...

Regarding the only two words to contain all the vowels in order:

Remembering that the vowels are a,e,i,o,u and sometimes y - then
abstemiously and facetiously work also.

I loved this post. I am big on phonetics, semantics, wod play, etc., and you just gave me some more sites to add to my "research blogroll list."