English is tough, and fun
* If you abuse (/z/) a child, you’re guilty of child abuse (/s/).
* At the army base, a bass (/@/) was painted on the head of a bass (/ei/) drum.
* They were too close (/s/) to the door to close (/z/) it.
# The soldiers decided to desert (/di`zert/[v.] give up, forsake, abandon) in the desert (/`desert/[n.] dessert /di`zert/[n.] sweetmeat after meal).
* The buck does (/d^z/) funny things when the does (/douz/-female deer) are present.
* When shot at, the dove (/d^v/[n.] pigeon) dove (/douv/[vbl.] dive) into the bushes.
* I spent last evening (/`i:vning/) evening (/`i:v(er)n-ing/) out a pile of dirt.
* I won’t excuse (/z/) a phony excuse (/s/).
* How can I intimate (/`intimeit/) this to my most intimate (/`intimit/) friend.
# The insurance for the invalid (/`inverlid/) was invalid (/in`v@lid/).
* He could lead (/i:/) if he would get lead (/e/[vbl.]) out.
# After a number (/`n^mber(r)/) of Novocain injections, my jaw got number (/`n^m-er/).
# I did not object (/erb`dzekt/) to the object (/`obdzikt/).
* We polish (/o/) the Polish (/ou/) furniture.
# The present (/`preznt/) is a good time to present (/pri`zent/) the present (/`prez(er)nt/[n.] gift).
# A farm can produce (/pro`du:s/) produce (/`produ:s/).
* We need to program our VCR to record our favorite TV program in record time.
# The dump was so full it had to refuse (/re`fju:s/) refuse (/`refu:s/-garbage).
* There was a row (/rau/ | /rou/ brawl/bro:l/) among the oarsmen (/`o:z/) about how to row (/rou/).
* They sent a sewer (/sjuer(r)/) down to stitch the tear in the sewer (/su:er(r)/) line.
* The seamstress and a sewer (/sjuer(r)/) fell down to into a sewer (/su:er(r)/) line.
* To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow (/sau/) to sow (/sou/).
# I had to subject (/serb`dzekt/) the subject (/`s^bdzikt/) to a series of tests.
* I shed a tear (/i/) when I saw the tear (/e/) in my clothes.
* Upon seeing the the tear (/e/) on the painting I shed a tear (/i/).
* The wind (/wind/) was too strong to wind (/waind/) the sail.
* The bandage was wound (/waund/[vbl.] wind) around the wound (/u:/).
There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. And while no one knows what is in a hotdog, you can be pretty sure it isn’t canine. English muffins were not 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 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 teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, why not the feminine she, shis, and shim?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese (one fowl is goose, two are geese). So one moose, two meese? Is cheese the plural of choose? One mouse, 2 mice. One louse, 2 lice. One house, 2 hice? If one man in two men, why not two pans are pen? One box, two boxes; why one ox but two oxen?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Why do people recite at a play, and play at a recital? Ship by truck or car 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 a wise guy are opposites? How can the weather be hot as heck one day and cold as heck another?
If a house burns up, it burns down. You fill in a form by filling it out and an alarm clock goes off by going on. You get in and out of a car, yet you get on and off a bus. 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?
English is a weird language … it doesn’t know if it is coming or going!
War never determines who’s right. War only determines who’s left.
— Unpredictable Pronunciation
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Cloven, oven, how and low,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Refer does not rhyme with deafer,
We say hallowed, but allowed,
Petal, panel, and canal,
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Heron, granary, canary.
Seven is right, but so is even,
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Here’s a list of english words:
parkway, buzzard, backwards, birds,
coldly, puppy, garland, sock,
cynic, vapour, vulgar, conquer,
weevil, safety, earshot, yawn,
diet, honey, pastor, sold,
author, switchboard, hither, love,
lichen, handsome, feisty, wave,
chaplain, mincemeat, redcoat, airway,
raven, wheelchair, modest, muscle,
vodka, sweethearts, boyhood, dreaded,
raucous, ocean, kidney, pound,
sweaty, pirate, loading, dense,
bloodstream, paintbrush, weary, young,
mainframe, forethought, sundae, thrill,