American-English Dictionary -
English in England - is a Crazy Language!
Click here for the A-Z of English
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither
apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented
in England nor 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, that you comb through annals of history but not a single
annal? 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 a preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables,
what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps
you bote your tongue?
Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed
to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what 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? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while
a wise man and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and
oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are
alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold
as hell another?
Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when
they are absent? Have you ever seen a horsefull carriage or
a strapfull gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited
love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated,
gruntled, ruly, hevelled or peccable?
And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or
who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?
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 clock
goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not
computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race
(which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when
the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are
out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch,
I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.
So, do the English really speak
A Guide for Americans (and of course, others...)
"The Americans are identical to the British in all respects
except, of course, language."
"We (the British and Americans) are two countries separated
by a common language."
Allow us to settle any confusion, alphabetically, about some
commonly used English in England. Not that English is not
spoken in Scotland, Wales or Ireland. It is - besides Welsh
in Wales, Gaelic in Scotland and Gaelic in Ireland… Confused?
Click on the link below to download our PDF file. You will
then be able to read an irreverent and very funny expose of
English as she is spoke (spake?) here.
For a complete printable version in PDF format please click