Learning to Speak English

Being cooped up by the virus has pointed many of us to learn something new. I suggest we all use this time to unravel the mystery of the English language.
Subject: HOW does one learn English as a 2nd language?
Ode to The English Plural
We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes 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 speak 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 there 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?
  • We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
  • We have noses that run and feet that smell.
  • We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
  • And 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 languagel”
  • 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.
And in closing, if Father is Dad, how come Mother is not Mad

A Little Political Humor

This story was sent to me by a friend and it is too good not to share;

Butch. The Rooster.

Sarah was in the fertilized egg business.  She had several hundred young pullets and ten roosters to fertilize the eggs.

She kept records and any rooster not performing went into the soup pot and was replaced.

This took a lot of time, so she bought some tiny bells and attached them to her roosters. Each bell had a different tone, so she could tell from a distance which rooster was performing. Now, she could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report by just listening to the bells.

Sarah’s favourite rooster, old Butch, was a very fine specimen but, this morning she noticed old Butch’s bell hadn’t rung at all! When she went to investigate, she saw the other roosters were busy chasing pullets, bells-a-ringing, but the pullets hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover.

To Sarah’s amazement, old Butch had his bell in his beak, so it couldn’t ring.He’d sneak up on a pullet, do his job, and walk on to the next one.

Sarah was so proud of old Butch, she entered him in a Show and he became an overnight sensation among the judges.

The result was the judges not only awarded old Butch the “No Bell Peace Prize” they also awarded him the “Pulletsurprise” as well.

Clearly old Butch was a politician in the making. Who else but a politician could figure out how to win two of the most coveted awards on our planet by being the best at sneaking up on the unsuspecting populace and screwing them when they weren’t paying attention?

Vote carefully in the next election. You can’t always hear the bells.

( If you don’t send this on, you’re a chicken…… no yolk)

Wabbit Wars: Attack on Sum and Substance

The cell has been in deep sleep for the past three years. There was not a single thread of visibility during that time, and the gardener wondered what had happened. Had he finally succeeded in destroying them? The question circled through his mind all summer long as he continued to surveil the garden for signs of weird plant damage. Nothing, until this week. The gardener had transplanted some Hosta plants to revise his yearly scheme for the Monet Vision (his garden). He didn’t have a theme for 2020 but since he was about to sell his house and garden to move into a retirement community he thought it best make it a lower maintenance scene.

Instead of planting succulent annual flowers like petunias he would just rearrange the perennials which were over grown. The Wabbits love petunias and leave the perennials alone he thought. “I will kill two birds with one stone”, he said to himself, “lower maintenance and less expense of buying flashy annuals.” There will be less color, but if done properly the design and layout will compensate for the lack of color. Besides, I’ll add some annuals as a little splash of pizzazz.

Time passed after the transplant and the Gardener began to see some strange effects on the smaller Hosta plants. He noticed that they were weak in appearance, and by now they should have begun to flourish. Hmmnn, strange that these usually hardy plants look so feeble here in the new spot. Could it be they are getting too much sun? Another week passes and he sees the foliage on his miniature Hosta’s become even worse. “I may have to replant these he thought.”

What a Sum and Substance Hosta Should Look Like
What a Wabbit Terror Attack Does To A Healthy Sum and Substance

Then, this morning when the gardener raised the window shade overlooking the garden, he saw it. An invasion in progress. The Wabbit sat at the edge of his Sum and Substance with a giant bright green leave bobbing in his mouth as he chewed. Instinctively, the gardener snapped the lock on the sliding glass door to make a loud cracking noise. The Wabbit leaped, took one bound and disappeared. The Terror Cell is alive and exposed he thought.

Let the war begin. What devious means will I use to get him to leave the yard? He thought he had outwitted him by moving a plant they never touch, but to his surprise, the Rabbit decided it was just what he needed to please his palate.

There are two things I can do, thought the gardener. One, I can let the river run again. He had stopped the flow of water from the waterfall for stream-bed maintenance, and forcing the Wabbit to cross a water barrier will make it harder. Second a mesh of poultry-barrier across another entrance to this bed will also make it harder for him to invade.

There is one thing the gardener will not stand for in his yard, i.e terrorism by any intruder, be it an invasive species like thistle or dandelion, or rabbit. Garden terrorism is a costly detriment to the appearance of the Monet Vision, it must be stopped.

to be continued. . . .

Day 47-SIP-A Letter To My Friends

3 May 2020

To My Lion Friends:

            It seems like forever since we last met, but it has only been since our last government allowed meeting in February. I miss you all. I miss the meals together, the drinks, the congenial fellowship, the back slapping, and hilarious but crude jokes. I feel like I should be doing something more than just sitting around avoiding a chance meeting with a virus. There has to be something we can do as a club that does not involve meeting in person and face to face as a group. 

There is a way to have a meeting using technology called Zoom, and it might even be fun. What is Zoom you ask? It is a virtual meeting that takes place via the internet. If you agree, I will set a meeting time (like at 6:30 p.m. 9 May 2020, our regular meeting night) and then you will click on the link in the email that takes you to the meeting. Your face and voice will be heard on the screen. Lady Lions please have your make up and hair done before signing on. Male Lions please wear your Lions Vest, pants are optional since we’ll only see your face. Shaving is also optional, but you may want to show off your new COVID mustache, or beard.

All of us will be seen on the screen in separate frames. If you don’t have a computer with a camera, you can substitute a smart phone or tablet by calling a local-number in the same e-mail, If that doesn’t work you can call in on a regular phone but we won’t see your face. That may be a good thing. If you are looking grizzly on Monday and don’t want to scare the rest of us you can substitute your high school graduation picture by using the share-upload feature of the program.

You Too Can Be on This Screen

            Of course, with so many people on the same phone call the meeting leader will have to shut off your sound, and only give voice to those who raise a hand (click on the hand icon) to be heard. That will be better than our regular meetings where the one who speaks the loudest gets the nod over those who are too meek to shout-over. Members who would rather speak to their cliques like you do at a regular meeting you can do so through the chat feature in total privacy. That too will also be an improvement over our regular meetings where the general sound level gets so high it drones out the President.

Of course we will not feature our monthly buffet dinner, but you may bring your home cooked tv dinner to the meeting and eat while the rest of us watch you and chat. Drinks will not be available either, but again, you can put a straw into the neck of your favorite libation and suck it down at will. If you happen to disappear from the screen we will know you had too much. If you won’t be home, don’t be bashful and call from your car, but be sure the phone is in a cup holder and aimed at your face. That way you won’t have to put your beer down.

I ask you to respond to the following:

1.) Do you want to meet this way? Yes or no

2.) Send your service ideas, and questions in advance

3. Good jokes are always welcome as long as they are appropriately phrased to keep them clean.

Here is hoping we can Zoom soon to serve our community.

Respectfully yours in Lionism,

Lion Grumpa Joe, Past President

Day 29-Quarantine-Virtual Sports

How about it folks, let’s do some brainstorming. I’ve heard a lot of people complain that they are in live sports withdrawal. That is not something I readily understand, but sympathize with sports fans. I’ve heard my favorite radio host say he is tired of watching 14 year old baseball games and even older football games. He would like the MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and live Cricket to return to the stadiums. Lets kick out all the COVID hospital paraphernalia and lay down the grass, wood, and ice once again. That won’t happen until we decide we would rather catch the Covid-19 virus and develop our own immunity, or we get vaccinated.

Here is an idea I came up with, virtual teams playing virtual games. With the advanced gaming technology available it should be relatively simple to set up. The hard part would be in inventing how games would be played in a virtual setting. My vision has each professional team equipped with the latest WII software integrated with the latest gaming software. Players of each team operate using a meeting program similar to Zoom, so they can communicate (huddle) to call plays. The players all have WII controllers and use them to move against the opposing team who is controlling their robotic equivalent in defense. They watch themselves on the screen to decide what moves to make and which way to move and who to tackle etc. Basketball programs are already pretty sophisticated with the players controlling themselves on screen using the handheld device.

Think of the benefits, all players would  be socially distanced from one another. Spectators would be doing the same. Game injuries could be eliminated although some aggressive WII players can hurt themselves even when alone. There would be no need for a Zamboni to make new ice between periods, and for that matter there wouldn’t really be a need to take long breaks between halves and periods because the physicality of the game is so much reduced. Although this rule would not be eliminated since most players would want to grab a quick beer between periods.  Fighting at hockey games is nil because the players are so far apart. Injuries requiring stitches disappear. Instant replays to decide if a player is out of bounds is not required. The computers will know when a foot goes over a line.

Teams would save big money by not having to transport players to far away cities to compete. At worst, the teams can set up virtual game studios with separated Covid-19 play-rooms to keep them safe. This also removes the virtual team  player from his living room so he can relinquish the game player to his kids. Players would be freed from having to be in top physical condition since there isn’t any real contact between human bodies. Instead, players would have to train using game controllers and eye coordination.

Another twist is that the team owners could charge fans a premium play in games. Pick your position, get a controller, and substitute for a professional player. They can charge you by the number of plays you want to play, or you can pay a huge subscription for a season pass, or an even larger subscription to substitute for a season. Because of the new 5G systems available the subscriptions available to play are limitless. Each SS (subscription  substitute) player will be playing the game and watching himself on his TV. You can now play the same position against all your drinking buddies in the exact same game and determine which of you is the best.

You get the idea, right?

What’s that? It’s already available?

Then why am I wasting my and brainpower posting about it

I need some wine.

 

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