English is a subject many of us loved to hate while we were in school. Rightly so, I guess, because it’s awfully complex, what with all the rules and everything. But perhaps the toughest thing is when you try to explain English to someone who didn’t grow up speaking it.
One problem for our brethren and cistern of other lands is that English has too many words that sound the same but mean completely different things (homonyms). On the other hand, you have five fingers. You also have the words that don’t sound anything alike, but mean the same thing (synonyms). Consequently, even those who grew up with English as a first language can have a pretty horrible time at first.
Maybe I’m a sicko, but I actually enjoyed English as a kid. It just seemed to flow naturally for me. But so does fun, and early in life I often turned to scholars like the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges; and came to rely heavily on silly humor as a coping mechanism. Professors Groucho and Curly, among others, taught me to mangle the use of my native tongue for comic relief.
Some of my favorite fun is the destruction of sentences using various perversions of synonyms and homonyms. Sew, without any further a dew, hear comes the thyme during witch aisle use words in a weigh that, hope fully, will give ewe awl a chuckle oar to. Oar knot! Eye don’t no four shore. Of coarse, eye may use sum “poetic lye sense” and get in two sum reel bad word mangling, just two make this moor fun. When eye get in two a mood of this type, I yam knot very predict a bull. Eye simply type watt comes two my mind. And at thymes, my mind can bee a berry strange plays in deed.
Take the title, four instance. Pleas, jest take it away from hear! It contains words that are not reel homonyms of “Four Part Harmony.” But hay, Eye simply dew knot care. Eye thought it sounded funny, sew that’s wye Eye poot it their. Nor dew Eye care that “poot” is knot in the diction aerie (although diction and aerie both are). Eye, four won, no perfectly well that “poot” is slang for the release of intestinal gas. Sew, Eye through that in four the halibut.
Won sad fact, though, is their are two many folks who right this way awl the thyme, and think it’s nor mull. If there skills are egg stream lee bad, we cat a gore eyes them as “funk shun Ellie ill litter it.” They dew knot no how two right a reel scent tense. There reeding skills are very pour. Knot awl of this is there fault, of coarse, butt it is the sad truth nun the less.
Oh Kay. Watt if wee found too people, driving threw town and talk king, and won was “funk shun Ellie ill litter it” and the udder new grandma pretty well, and was their four “litter it?” Wee mite here sum thing of this nay chore:
“Hay, Clem! Let’s go two the Ma Jest Stick Thee Ate Err two knight. Eye here their will bee fore fell lows singing, each inn a different cord! With know instruments, neither!! Eye guess you call that type of singing, `archipelago,’ write??”
“No, Stewart, that’s definitely NOT `archipelago,’ it’s called `acapella.’ But hey, it sounds like a great idea. And by the way, when there are four singers like that, it’s called a `quartet,’ you realize. Probably barber shop.”
“Oh Kay, Mr. Music Smarty Pants Person! Butt hay now, you don’t have to insult me! Four wye you call me `reel eyes??’ Pretty stupid name calling their. Anyhow, I’m really lookin’ foreword two that fore pot hominy. And yes, I am fully a wear that `a bobber sharp quartet’ is a cinnamon four `fore pot hominy,’ Mr. Turnip Nose! There! How dew you like being called names?? Stop with the insults, already!”
“I think you mean synonym, although it isn’t really. And that’s four part harmony. Pretty sure you meant harmony. But hey, I don’t want to pick nits. And I didn’t call you `reel eyes,’ I said, `realize.’ Chill out, man!”
“Yore tellin’ ME to chill OUT?? I don’t have to take this! I mean, there you go again! Are you listenin’ two yourself hear? Eye SAID cinnamon! And eye also said hominy! And if there’s any pit nicking gonna be done, I’ll do it myself, thank you very much. I was nicking pits before you was born!! And there you go callin’ me names again! What the heck’s the deal with this `reel eyes’ business? Anyhow??”
“Oh brother. Sorry. We’re obviously not communicating. But hey, let’s check out the quartet. What time? Eight?”
“Ate?? Heck know, I’m starved! Haven’t had thyme four dinner yet! Pick me up around 7:45. And watch out fur that `DEW KNOT ENTER’ sign! Oar don’t you understand traffic cymbals?? You ego statistical creep-headed octopus!”
Well, may bee such a talk wooden happen. Butt as yew kin sea, I like two play with hominy and cinnamon!
Here are two of my favorite artists who mastered the misuse of English: