Our Crazy Language

  • Did you know that “verb” is a noun?
  • How can you look up words in a dictionary if you can’t spell them?
  • If a word is misspelled in a dictionary, how would we ever know?
  • If two mouses are mice and two louses are lice, why aren’t two houses hice?
  • If Webster wrote the first dictionary, where did he find the words?
  • If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?
  • If you’ve read a book, you can reread it. But wouldn’t this also mean that you would have to “member” somebody in order to remember them?
  • In Chinese, why are the words for crisis and opportunity the same?
  • Is it a coincidence that the only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable?
  • Is there another word for a synonym?
  • Shouldn’t there be a shorter word for “monosyllabic”?
  • What is another word for “thesaurus”?
  • Where do swear words come from?
  • Why can’t you make another word using all the letters in “anagram”?
  • Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?
  • Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
  • Why do people use the word “irregardless”?
  • Why do some people type “cool” as “kewl?”
  • Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?
  • Why do we say something’s out of order when its broken but we never say in of order when it works?
  • Why does “cleave” mean both split apart and stick together?
  • Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?
  • Why does flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?
  • Why does the Chinese ideogram for trouble symbolize two women living under one roof?
  • Why does X stand for a kiss and O stand for a hug?
  • Why doesn’t “onomatopoeia” sound like what it is?
  • Why don’t we say “why” instead of “how come”?
  • Why is “crazy man” an insult, while to insert a comma and say “Crazy, man!” is a compliment?
  • Why are a wise man and wise guy opposites?
  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • Why is dyslexic so hard to spell?
  • Why is it so hard to remember how to spell MNEMONIC?
  • Why is it that no word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple?
  • Why is it that the word “gullible” isn’t in the dictionary?
  • Why is it that we recite at a play and play at a recital?
  • Why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
  • Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
  • Why is the plural of goose-geese, and not the plural of moose-meese?
  • Why isn’t “palindrome” spelled the same way backwards?
  • Why isn’t phonetic spelled the way it sounds?


The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phase in plan that would be known as “EuroEnglish.”

In the first year, S will replace the soft C. Sertainly this will make the sivil servant jump with joy. The hard C will be dropped in favor of the K. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome PH will be replaced with the F. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 percent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horiblemes of the silent Es in the language is disgraceful and that they should go away. By the fourth yar peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing TH with Z and W with V.

During ze fifth yar, ze unesesary O kan be dropd from vords kontaining OU and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yar, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand echozer.


No Excuses

A high school English teacher reminds her class of tomorrow’s final exam.

“Now class, I won’t tolerate any excuses for you not being there tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family – but that’s it, no other excuses whatsoever!”

A smart-ass guy in the back of the room raises his hand and asks, “What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?”

The entire class does its best to stifle their laughter and snickering. When silence is restored, the teacher smiles sympathetically at the student, shakes her head, and sweetly says, “Well, I guess you’d have to write the exam with your other hand.


  • In the beginning my English teacher created nouns and verbs.
  • And the verbs were without form and voice; and darkness was upon the face of the deep–my teacher.
  • And she said, “Let there be grammar;” and there was grammar.
  • And Teacher saw the verbs and laughed and said that it was good; and she divided the bright students from those who remained in darkness.
  • And Teacher gave the bright students A’s and kept the others after school. And the homework and the bell were the first day.
  • And Teacher said, “Let there be a sentence in the midst of the words, and let it divide the nouns from the verbs.
  • And Teacher made the sentence, and diagrammed it on the board; I looked and saw that it was so.
  • And the Teacher called the sentence declarative. And the capital and the period were the second day.
  • And Teacher said, “Let the noun words in the sentence be gathered together unto one place, and let the verb words appear; and it was so.
  • And Teacher called the verb words predicate; and the gathering together of noun words called she the subject; and Teacher saw that it was good.
  • And Teacher said, “Let the predicate bring forth modifiers, the transitive verbs yielding objects, and the intransitive verbs yielding complements after their own kind, whose place is in itself, within the predicate;” and it was so.
  • And the predicate brought forth modifiers, and transitive verbs yielding objects after their own kind, and intransitive verbs yielding a complement whose place was in itself, after their own kind: The Teacher saw that it was good and confusing.
  • And the active and the passive were the third day.
  • And Teacher said, “Let there be modifiers in the firmament of the subject to further confuse and divide the students in the classroom; and let them be for proper nouns, concrete nouns, mass nouns, collective nouns, pronouns, and abstract nouns.”
  • “And let them be for to give meaning in the subject and to enhance the predicate;” and it was so confusing.
  • And Teacher made two great words: the greater word -adjective- to rule the noun, and the lesser word -adverb- to rule the verb; she made the conjunction also.
  • And Teacher set them in the sentence in order to make it difficult to diagram.
  • And to make it easier for her to divide the bright students from those who remained in darkness; and Teacher saw that her system was good.
  • And the phrase and the clause were the fourth day.
  • And Teacher said, “Let the verbs bring forth abundantly the many verb forms, the gerunds, infinitives, and participles; the subjunctives; the auxiliary verbs, the linking verbs; and the phrasal verbs.”
  • And Teacher created mood for every living creature that moveth, and tense for all time, and voice after their kind: and Teacher saw that it was indeed good.
  • And Teacher blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply in complexity, and fill young minds with bewilderment, and let the bewilderment multiply into chaos in their minds.”
  • And the lecture and the English test were the fifth day.
  • And Teacher said, “Let the nouns and verbs bring forth living sentences after their own kind, book reports, essay questions, and English themes for the students to write;” and it was very so.
  • And Teacher made all these things for the freshman English student to do, and everything that creepeth into her mind she gave to them to do; and Teacher saw to it that it was good.
  • And Teacher said, “Let us make one project in our image, after our likeness; and let the product have dominion over the other projects, and over every subject of the college student.”
  • So Teacher created the research paper in her own image, in the image of Teacher created she it; boring and difficult created she it.
  • And Teacher blessed it, and Teacher said unto the research paper, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the supply of dropouts, and subdue the remainder of the college students; and have dominion over the other projects, and over the other subjects, and over every single grade that the students receive.”
  • “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth into the classroom, wherein there is life, I have given every rule and principle for good English;” and it was so.
  • And Teacher saw everything that she had made, and behold it was very good.