Friday, 30 March 2012

Mondays with Crazy English

Why we love and why we hate English
(Intermediate/ Upper-Intermediate level)
Read these sentences and you'll understand why:

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.  The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
         6.  Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the  present.
7.  I did not object to the object.
8.  The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
9.  There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
   10. They were too close to the door to close it.
   11. The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
   12. After a number of injections my jaw got number.
   13. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
   14. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
   15. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

1.  to wind /waind/, wound, wound /wound/ = to wrap around ; wound n. /wuːnd/= injury
2.  to produce /prə ‘dju:s/ = to make, create, manufacture; produce n. /’prɒdju:s/ =
farm products
3.  to refuse /re'fju:z/ = to say you don't do sth.; refuse n. /'re fju:s/ = rubbish
4.  to polish = to clean a surface and make it shine; Polish = belonging, related to Poland
5.  to desert /di’zз:t/ = to abandon; dessert /di’zз:t/ = sweet food eaten at the end of a meal;
    desert /dezət/ = area of land with little water and few plants growing on it
6.  present /preznt/ = the time now; to present /pri’zent/ = give sth. esp formally ; present /preznt/ a thing given as a gift
7.  to object /əb’dʒekt/ = to protest; object /ˈɒbdʒɪkt, -dʒɛkt/ = solid thing that can be seen and touched
8.  invalid /inˈvalɪd/= not officially acceptable; invalid /ˈɪnvəlɪd/ = made weak by illness
9.  row /raʊ/= violent argument; row /rəʊ/ = a violent argument
10. close /kləʊs/ near; to close /kləʊz/ = to shut

11. wind /wind/ air moving; to wind /waind/ = to turn, to coil
12. number /ˈnʌmbə/ = an arithmetical value; number /nʌmə/ = deprived of physical sensation
13. tear /teə/ a hole, a split;  tear /tiə/ = drop of water coming from the eye
14. to subject /səbˈdʒɛkt/ to bring under control   the subject /ˈsʌbdʒɛkt, ˈsʌbdʒɪkt/ person or object being discussed
15. to intimate /ˈɪntɪmət/ to make known subtly; intimate /ˈɪntɪmət/ closely related

This is just an example why we both love and hate the English language.The characteristic called flexibility and has developed over the last five centuries due to the loss of inflections.

On the other hand, being relatively uninflected (analytic), English conjugation is not difficult to learn.

English is also characterized by free admission of words from other languages and the ready creation of compounds and derivatives (derivation).

Do these characteristics - any many more - make the English language difficult to learn? Tell us about your experience as a language learner.

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