Laughter and books make life a little easier

The Idiocy of the English Language

If you are at all acquainted with the English language, you may have noticed some common sayings and words in there that are really silly, once you come to think of it. For example, why is it called a boxing ring when it is actually a square? Why is the load of the ship referred to as cargo, but when a truck carries a load on land, that is referred to as shipping? Actors recite a play for an audience, but then they play at a recital. See? It doesn’t make sense! But that is English, unfortunately. That is also one of the reasons why English is such a hard language to speak fluently – incorporating all its nuances. Ask me – I’ve been there. There are so many things you simply have to know.

If you want to read more about the silliness of English, there is this poem. It is unfortunately not the original one that inspired this post – that one was printed in my English handbook and I can’t find it – but most of the cartoons of this post are also illustrations from it.


Now, without further ado (cliché!), let’s have a giggle!





You would not believe how many “desert peaches” I’ve seen at the grocer. I always wonder if they are all sandy and dry. And I’ve also had several people ask me if I would live in a dessert. “No, I don’t think so. It would probably be very sticky. And sickly.” Then they look at me as if I’ve gone mad.




What the hell just happened there? Please excuse the language: I just felt that was the only suitable comment to use. Winking smile



Yes. And if fire fighters fight fires, what then do freedom fighters fight?


Why do we drive on parkways…



… and park on driveways?



Oh. Well, I just asked the dictionary, and apparently the word “pineapple” is derived from the Middle English word for “pinecone”. The fruit seems to have reminded whoever named it of a pinecone. If you say so. I can’t say I really see the resemblance. Except maybe in the shape.


So sometimes the connections do make sense. A lot of the time they do not, however. But no-one can deny that English is a creative language!


I hope you all have a great week!


774 responses

  1. You’re getting me all confused! I blame you If I start parking on the parkway.

    January 17, 2012 at 02:14

    • Well, knowing my absent-minded driving methods, I’d probably join you! 😉 Then we can both be in trouble together!

      January 17, 2012 at 15:27

      • Hey, you got featured in the humor section! Congrats! 🙂

        January 18, 2012 at 01:59

      • Eep! Yes! It must have happened right after your first comment. Now you can say you found me before the deluge hit! 😉

        January 18, 2012 at 10:11

    • Hey, I just joined not to long ago, and i am really confused by what i have to do to make my own website. I’ve made the background…i think, but thats all. Im also a writer, and i really need some help. Could anyone find it in their ability to help me out?

      January 19, 2012 at 19:05

      • I have no idea how to help you, but WordPress have a lot of great tutorials in their Support section. Hope that helps you!

        January 21, 2012 at 20:35

    • happilysleepdeprived

      I love this post, your blog is hilarious. Keep up the humor!

      January 19, 2012 at 21:56

      • Wonderful!

        January 21, 2012 at 20:36

    • made me smile! thank you =)

      January 21, 2012 at 18:30

      • That’s good to hear! 😀

        January 21, 2012 at 19:46

    • Great illustrations !

      This reminds me of a quandary from grade school – if a fortification is a large fort, why isn’t a ratification a large rat ?

      January 23, 2012 at 05:17

      • I’m glad you think so!
        Haha, thanks for sharing that one! 😆

        January 24, 2012 at 01:01

  2. clayer

    What a cute blog and great post! I look forward to seeing more.

    Keep in touch!

    January 17, 2012 at 18:12

    • Thank you! And for the comment! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 13:06

    • You are so right. I told someone they were a brick the other day (that’s English for good sort, solid as) and they were pissed off – cause of ‘thick as’!

      January 19, 2012 at 13:18

      • padaso

        That’s a rock… solid as a… surely?

        January 21, 2012 at 15:21

      • Not necessarily. Telling someone they are a brick to mean that they are a good person is a bit archaic in my opinion, but it is still correct.

        January 21, 2012 at 19:14

  3. This is so funny – we read a lot of these things in my University English class. Great post!

    January 17, 2012 at 18:19

    • Thank you! So do we!

      January 18, 2012 at 13:05

  4. love this!

    January 17, 2012 at 18:26

    • I’m glad! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 13:05

  5. Enjoyed your creativ post.

    January 17, 2012 at 18:27

    • Wonderful! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 13:05

  6. Love th vegetarian/humanitarian ! English as a second language must be so fustrating…

    January 17, 2012 at 18:31

    • It can be, but it is way more frustrating when native speakers of English won’t take you seriously simply because of your status, instead of judging you on your skills.

      January 18, 2012 at 13:04

      • I believe English is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. Even people who are native English speakers don’t know how to speak it (or write it) properly. For every rule, there are exceptions – and even English teachers have trouble keeping track of all of them!!!

        January 20, 2012 at 17:02

      • That’s just personal opinion. 😉 I would, of course, not let the chance pass to point out the difficulties of learning French! Which also has exceptions for every rule.

        January 21, 2012 at 20:41

      • seasidepress

        Chinese is the hardest language to learn and that’s not subjective.
        Here’s a great read for Elana: Never Surrender! A true story by Liliane Pelzman.
        Have a super Sunday y’all:)

        January 22, 2012 at 09:45

      • I would definitely not try to argue with you!
        Thanks for the recommendation!

        January 22, 2012 at 17:09

      • Conster

        I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been taken seriously. I hope you do not judge ALL natives according to some of your “not so pleasant” experiences. I do believe we ALL have errors and flaws but hope we can remember…to err is HUMAN. I further believe, all humans have human-like traits that are diverse in their similarities…wink.

        Bravo on your success!!

        January 23, 2012 at 00:59

      • Ha, no I don’t. But people do sometimes take offence when you try to fix their spelling or grammar and they hear you are not a native. Oh well, I can handle it! 😉
        Thank you!

        January 24, 2012 at 01:13

  7. i loved ur cartoons…they mk ur post so much more funny…lol

    January 17, 2012 at 18:31

    • I’m glad you think so! Thanks for commenting! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 13:03

  8. Lol! How clever! I never even thought of the pineapple one…

    January 17, 2012 at 18:38

    • Now you’re never going to forget it again… 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 13:03

    • Oddly, I was thinking about the word “pineapple” for some reason just a few days ago.

      January 19, 2012 at 18:06

  9. You’re right. English is full of crazy stuff. That’s part of why is such a fun language for writers.

    January 17, 2012 at 18:41

    • That it certainly is! Hehe! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 13:02

  10. I like this and have used some of these terms/phrases in our adult literacy tutor training workshops.

    January 17, 2012 at 18:43

    • Thank you. Yes, they’re not all that uncommon.

      January 18, 2012 at 13:02

  11. Intriguing indeed! 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 18:45

    • Yes, certainly!

      January 18, 2012 at 13:00

  12. Very cute and quite true. As a writer, I can say one thing: be consistent throughout a manuscript and don’t be afraid to write true to form. When people read a book, most like to read current language–

    Cute blog.


    January 17, 2012 at 18:49

    • That’s very true, thank you!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:57

  13. showard76

    Awesome post Elana, love the idiosyncrasies but love the art work even more – your own work I take it!? brilliant 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 18:51

    • Yes, it’s my own work. Thank you! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:56

  14. sirrahh

    Here’s one I like (though no artwork to include):

    “Terror” and “Horror” mean about the same thing.
    “Terrible” and “Horrible” are good synonyms.
    So why does this not apply to “terrific” and “horrific”?

    January 17, 2012 at 18:55

    • Certainly very confusing! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:51

  15. morninghue

    Don’t worry about this idiocy. It happens not only in English, but also in other language. Just like in Bahasa Indonesia; the word “beruang” could have dual meaning. The first one is “the one who owned (much) money” and the second is “a bear”. So, if we wrote, “Dia beruang”; it will have two ambiguous meaning. Whether He is rich or He is a bear. Confusing enough…

    January 17, 2012 at 19:01

    • I never thought that this was unique to English! Oh dear, so you could say that “there goes that rich old bear”? 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:49

  16. All I can think about when reading your post is peanuts and coconuts, both of which are not actually nuts.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:04

    • And I think pine nuts as well…?

      January 18, 2012 at 12:46

      • And what about Grape-Nuts? Not a whole lot of grapes or nuts in there, either. But Grape-Nuts are seriously delicious when combined with ice cream!

        January 19, 2012 at 22:53

  17. Excellent post. I’ve always enjoyed the dessert/desert as well 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 19:06

    • That’s probably my favourite one for a giggle! Thanks! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:46

  18. scatback

    Irregular plurals are another great example. Why do people hate *mice* (plural of mouse) getting into their *houses* (plural of house)? Well, the answer to that 1, even though not the point, should be obvious. Why, when driving through Yellowstone NP, do you see a flock of *geese* (plural of goose), and a herd of *moose* (plural – and singular – of moose)?

    January 17, 2012 at 19:06

    • Yes… those silly plurals! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:44

    • A herd of moose? I prefer meese, but it’s hard to find a herd of moose. They tend to be solitary.

      January 19, 2012 at 08:30

      • That’s good. It helps that people don’t mix up those irregular plurals too much! 😉 The meese know what the language expects of them.

        January 21, 2012 at 20:43

  19. Hi Elana, this is the coolest site I have ever seen to illustrate these points. I teach professional journalists and sub-editors in journalism workshops and these kinds of questions always pop up. Now I can ask them to look at your page. More, please!

    PS, In Asia, we still talk of ‘a warm welcome’ when our visitors would much prefer a cool one in this weather.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:08

    • Well, I’ll try. I love thinking about language, so it should be easy! I’ll be very happy if you shared it!
      Ah, I know that one very well. Here in the South we would prefer a cool welcome as well! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:41

  20. Freedom fighters fight FOR free? Love the post, and the picts. Thanks and congrats on being FP!!!

    January 17, 2012 at 19:12

    • According to word logic, they fight against freedom. I get the idea they wouldn’t like that very much! 😉
      Thank you!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:39

  21. Hey, in French potatoes are literally “apples of the earth.”
    I love this, and I’m quite thankful English was my first language because learning it now would be extremely difficult, due to all these silly things.

    Great post 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 19:14

    • Ah yes, “pommes de terre”! And the same goes for Dutch.
      Thanks! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:38

  22. Nice illustrations.. My mum always argues with me saying all these points .. 🙂 Cool post ! Congrats on freshly pressed 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 19:16

    • Ah well, where would the world be without arguing back and forth about everything? 😉 Thank you!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:37

  23. I love your stick figures!

    And I also love the English language. Considering I work as a full-time professional freelance writer, it taunts me daily.


    January 17, 2012 at 19:16

    • Awesome! I’ve also done copyediting, and it’s no fun to explain these idiosyncrasies to someone who has no idea about writing!
      I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while, so I’m glad you like mine! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:36

      • Wow — that’s so sweet. Thank you very much — always love to see blogging friends experiencing Freshly Pressed success…you deserve it!

        January 19, 2012 at 19:20

  24. willtherealslimkristenpleasestandup?

    I loved this post! I have pondered these questions many a time and enjoyed your humorous handling of them. And you’re right, if you’re not a native English speaker – it is very confusing!

    January 17, 2012 at 19:18

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:33

  25. LOL. Humanitarians eat humans right?

    January 17, 2012 at 19:24

    • Yep! You’d better watch out for them! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:32

  26. Alcoholic- addicted to alcohol
    Shopoholic- addicted to… shopohol?
    I think The Simpsons made a similar reference.
    I studied a book which is based around similar discussions at University:
    It’s very funny if you’re into that sort of thing.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:24

    • Chocholic – addicted to chocohol? 😉
      Thanks for the link!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:31

  27. Your cartoons about language are so much better than mine. Great post!

    January 17, 2012 at 19:25

    • I’m glad you think so, but please don’t put yourself down. Everyone has a unique talent! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:30

  28. Wait a minute minute, (I don’t want to keep you as long as 60 seconds) the number of minutes in that angle are minutely out on minute inspection? Or something of that ilk 😉

    January 17, 2012 at 19:30

    • Yes, that is confusing too. 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:26

  29. Now I’m going to be thinking about humanitarian’s diets…

    January 17, 2012 at 19:37

    • Good. That’s what I wanted. 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:25

  30. I really like your blog! I’m going to flag it up in one of those flagging up type comment threads in the WP forums.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:37

    • Wow! Thanks so much! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:24

  31. Wonderful post and I’m in total agreement with the sometimes confusing language we have. I love it. But it can be confusing. 🙂 Love your blog!

    January 17, 2012 at 19:40

    • I, too, love the confusion. Thanks!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:23

  32. peaches92

    Lol this is genuis, Haha I never actually thought of it that way

    January 17, 2012 at 19:41

    • Haha, well, now you are always going to think of it this way. It cannot be unseen! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:23

  33. It can be certainly confusing and I do wonder the same thing sometimes. There are so many words in the English language that always makes one think why a certain thing is called what it is called.

    But that’s why it’s the English language! ^_^

    Great post.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:42

    • Yes, I think the same way. Thank you! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:22

  34. অসাধারন,……আর প্রথম কার্টুনটার কোন জুরি নেই। (excellent……… specially the first one is really good.)

    January 17, 2012 at 19:45

    • Glad you think so! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:21

  35. Very cute illustrations! Subscribed!
    I myself am pretty damn infrequent with my blogging too. Ah well, hope to get better….:s

    January 17, 2012 at 19:50

    • Thanks, I’m glad you did!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:21

  36. I have a theory about the “cold as hell” expression. Mind you, it is only a theory and not a very good one…but here goes. In Dante’s “Inferno,” the lowest point in Hell is the coldest–Satan is encased in ice. There are the rings that are miserably hot as well, but Hell (according to Dante’s imagining anyway) does indeed have a frozen region.

    Now, do I really believe that the people who originated and use the phrase “cold as Hell” are recalling Dante’s ice-trapped Satan? Hell no! 😉

    Great post, by the way! And congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    January 17, 2012 at 19:53

    • Yes, that is a good theory. (And why do all theories like to incorporate Dante?!) 😉 Another theory is that “cold as hell” could come from the Norse and Germanic myths, which had a cold Hell.
      Haha, thank you! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:20

    • Steppinwolf

      How is it that when my phalanges are cold I blow on ’em to warm them up, but when I burn myself, once again, I blow on them to cool them down? Law of Averages? Now we be speakin’ English.

      January 21, 2012 at 01:40

  37. Congrats on getting freshly pressed. And yes, the fickleness of the English language.

    January 17, 2012 at 19:59

    • Thank you! Yep, it’s fickle! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:17

  38. …and I’ve just noticed you were Freshly Pressed! Congratulations!

    January 17, 2012 at 20:10

    • Yes… I can hardly believe it myself! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 12:13

  39. i looove it! 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 20:12

  40. As an EFL teacher I see the frustration in the faces of my students everyday as I try to explain things like this! You made me laugh!

    January 17, 2012 at 20:16

    • I’m glad I did! And I know that frustration very well! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:12

  41. theveryhungrybookworm

    I want to show these to my English classes…they are wonderful! Thanks for a laugh in the middle of my workday 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 20:21

    • I hope you do share it! We could do with more laughs in the world.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:11

  42. LOL! I really enjoyed your post. The English language doesn’t make sense sometimes — check out this article 😀

    January 17, 2012 at 20:21

    • Thanks for sharing that, it was very funny! I always like “one moose, two meese” and also “fill out the form by filling it in”. 😆

      January 18, 2012 at 12:12

  43. alan

    Since I’m not disgruntled, does that mean I’m gruntled?

    January 17, 2012 at 20:33

    • Yes, you have a severe grunting problem. 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 12:09

  44. Very funny post, It is so true that the english language is messed up.
    like a child trying to read the word “ghost” for the first time (try explaining that one).
    How To Be A DJ

    January 17, 2012 at 20:39

    • I can just hear the “ghost”-one!
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 18, 2012 at 12:08

  45. Rae

    We don’t call them “parkways” in America, so maybe Americans have actually refined the English language. 😉

    January 17, 2012 at 20:45

    • From the point of view of someone who uses British English, maybe I’ll grudgingly admit that, for once! 😉
      I’ve enjoyed your blog for a while, so I’m glad you like mine. 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 12:06

      • Beth

        According the wikipedia parkway is a North American term originally.

        As I had to look up ‘parkway’ I don’t think it ever took off in the UK, I’ve drive down A roads, up motorways and admittedly parked on driveways, but parkways passed me by 🙂

        January 19, 2012 at 15:36

    • rmv

      yes we do. there are many highways in america that are named “the _____ parkway.” garden state parkway is one.

      January 19, 2012 at 18:31

      • “Garden State Parkway” puts me more in mind of a park than ever!

        January 21, 2012 at 20:48

  46. Weird words we have–weird language. Love the cartoons!

    January 17, 2012 at 20:49

    • Exactly: weird. Full stop.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:03

  47. As a non-native I am happy to see that there is also stuff that confuses natives 🙂 And I love your comics…really funny! Aspecially the sniffing cake 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 20:55

    • Oh yes, English is made of confusion! Thank you! I like that bit too! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:59

  48. Most excellent post! Often, I have pondered the English language in all it’s uniqueness only to walk away baffled by it all. Then, of course, throw into the mix people speaking the language, or rather desecrating it. Watch the movie, “Idioacracy” and you’ll really feel my pain. However as you and I are both writers, this does make for some great writing. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    January 17, 2012 at 20:56

    • It’s certainly fun to write with all these things in mind.
      Thank you!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:58

  49. In Florida there are people who appear to be parked on the parkway.

    January 17, 2012 at 20:59

    • I’ll take your word for it! You have to go and teach them about English now! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 11:56

  50. Pingback: I people wonder why I just make up my own Shrimping language. « THE PRAWN DON .SPOTLIGHT. RAMBO.

  51. Pingback: Even English Is Confusing | A Bahamian In Austria

  52. Ha ha, awesome!

    January 17, 2012 at 21:08

  53. This was a nice break in my day! Great fun with wordplay!

    January 17, 2012 at 21:09

    • Yay! I had fun writing it!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:55

  54. Such a great laugh that I have to share; really helped reminded me that all languages are interesting (I’m currently learning German). Thanks for the laugh and the reality check.

    January 17, 2012 at 21:09

    • It’s my pleasure! Thank you for commenting!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:55

  55. hahahaha.. cool presentation, and like Maxim said, you are confusing us.. :-D.. great post.. 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 21:12

    • Hehe! Thanks! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:53

  56. English is so silly

    January 17, 2012 at 21:20

    • Yes. But funny as well!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:53

  57. julesragas


    January 17, 2012 at 21:30

  58. I rather enjoyed this. It made me chuckle… a lot.. haha. Great sense of humor and how i can relate to the parking in a parkway.. it made sense right? ‘park’ is in its name.. Hoping to see more 🙂 and if you could please check out my blog with a few of my friends. It seems to have slowed down due to christmas but we’re catching right up back to pace! They better or the administrator and I may have to start kicking people out. x)

    January 17, 2012 at 21:36

    • Then I’m happy! 😉
      Most blogs slow down over the holiday season and that’s a fact. I’ll try to check it out! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:52

  59. desi83

    That is terrific. I majored in English and taught it for a year, and I remember learning about and then teaching certain rules of English that are totally illogical. So when trying to explain the reasons for the rule, I simply said, “that is just how it is. Someone a long time ago made that rule, and we keep following it today because that is what you’re supposed to do.” I mean really: there, their, they’re, what is the point?

    January 17, 2012 at 21:46

    • Thanks! It is very true about the rules of English. I’m majoring in it too! 🙂
      In our French class, our lecturer always used the explanation “It’s there just to annoy you” for silly rules. 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 11:49

  60. Such a funny post and so true! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    January 17, 2012 at 21:49

    • I’m glad you think so, and thank you!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:45

  61. How much fun is this post!!! :o) I Love Love Love the hell (not heaven!) out of it.
    I always liked foreign languages for that reason..less chances to get it wrong. Less words to learn. I have a friend from Mexico and it is funny to try and not speak in slang to him. It is even more funny when he looks at me like I am loco when I say something like “I could really hurt myself on that dessert!”
    Enjoy your Freshly Pressed stay and thanks for the great humor!

    January 17, 2012 at 22:15

    • Wow, I’m very glad! Yes, slang can lead to very funny moments! 🙂
      I’ll make sure I do and no problem! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:45

  62. I think the English language is fun. You can twist and turn it to your desire and rhyme it to no end.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Connie

    January 17, 2012 at 22:16

    • That’s very true. Thank you for commenting!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:43

  63. So pleased for you that your blog has been featured on the wordpress home page. Thats how I found your blog. Its really good.

    January 17, 2012 at 22:19

    • I’m very pleased that it’s featured as well! 😉 Thank you.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:43

  64. This post was too funny…my favorite is the desert/dessert example.

    January 17, 2012 at 22:20

    • That is probably my favourite too! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:42

  65. The driving ones are so funny! hahaha

    January 17, 2012 at 22:21

    • Glad you think so!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:40

  66. Wow I must admit, that was really good. You brought up a lot of points that I’ve never thought about. Especially about shipping in a truck and cargo in a ship. Also the one about driving on parkways and parking on driveways lol that was good.

    January 17, 2012 at 22:24

    • If I got you thinking, I succeeded in my objective! 😉 Thanks for the comment!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:40

  67. If vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what’s baby oil made from?

    Going along with your pineapple is neither a pinecone nor an apple:
    there’s no butter in buttermilk
    there’s no egg in eggplant
    no bread in shortbread
    no grape in grapefruit
    no worms or wood in wormwood
    no ham in hamburger

    January 17, 2012 at 22:33

    • Thanks for these! Though in the “buttermilk” case, I have to point out that the “butter” could refer to the thick, lumpy bits in the buttermilk. And that it is formed in a similar way to churning butter. 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:38

  68. Ryuu64

    Pineapples look like closed pine cones. For some reason when we think of pine cones we default to the short, fat, open ones the the one you drew.

    January 17, 2012 at 22:40

    • Hmm, yes, that is true. Thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:36

  69. Meghna Bohidar

    Love it 🙂
    It’s so obvious that we tend to miss it!

    January 17, 2012 at 22:40

    • Yes, definitely. Thanks for commenting! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:35

  70. Hate to wreck your whole idea but…they call the stuff on trucks cargo too…Luckily, truckdrivers don’t visit wordpress often…just maybe their daughters 🙂

    January 17, 2012 at 22:56

    • Thanks for pointing it out. Though some of these are region-specific, I know that a lot of people call the stuff on trucks cargo too. But I have also heard people say “I had it shipped up here from the coast.” Which doesn’t make sense if you look at it literally, and in any case they mean that they had it loaded on a truck. 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:33

  71. bluebookbelle

    Haha! Brilliant! 😀

    January 17, 2012 at 23:02

    • Thank you! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 11:30

  72. cute comics.

    January 17, 2012 at 23:06

  73. That’s funny!! This reminds me a bit of Japan when “Engrish” is added to T-shirts or billboards. I’ve seen the word “Desert” used instead of “Dessert” meaning cake or a pastry slice. There’s another word for you; “Bill-boards”. Isn’t it an “Ad-board”?.

    January 17, 2012 at 23:08

    • I always enjoy some Engrish! 😀
      I just checked and apparently “billboard” is an Americanism, and “bill” can actually mean “a public notice or advertisement”. This is even though we generally think of a bill as something you have to pay.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:28

  74. Pingback: The Idiocy of the English Language « Cartoons & Creative Writing « Nadya Dee :: Independent Copywriter

  75. It’s like that because english is such a mix of other languages, and often times, poorly translated as well. Even the name eng-lish, supposed to be ang-lish, innit?

    January 17, 2012 at 23:24

    • I wouldn’t say poorly translated. It’s more how the mix of foreign influences (mostly French and Latin) were transformed to something that sounded understandable to the English. If I remember correctly, “English” comes from the Latin word “angelus” which means “angel”. Apparently, the invaders thought England so wonderful that it was a country of angels. You can also see this connection in the French word for English: “anglais”.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:23

      • Let’s not forget the Angles and the Saxons (the Anglo-Saxons), the early British tribes. Angles – Angels – Anglais – English?? If you dig deep enough, there usually is a reason behind the seeming nonsense, but who has the time?

        January 20, 2012 at 17:09

      • I’d love to have time to dig for reasons. I always loved etymology and history and I had a great time during my History of English course. Wish I could do it again! 😀

        January 20, 2012 at 19:09

  76. derekberry

    The pineapple does have pointy sticklers like the pinecone, so I could see mistaking one for the other if I had never seen one before. Then, finding it was edible, it’s much like an apple.

    January 17, 2012 at 23:36

    • Yes, that is probably the connection. It still doesn’t taste like an apple!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:16

  77. Hilarious! Great drawings too!

    January 17, 2012 at 23:50

    • Thank you! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:15

  78. closspimentinha

    There’s a good one about English language I read days ago:

    In the word “enough”, GH sounds as F
    In the word “women”, O sounds as short I
    In the word “nation”, TI sounds as SH

    Therefore, the word GHOTI, should sound as FISH

    January 17, 2012 at 23:52

    • Ah yes! That was George Bernard Shaw who said that! I remember that one.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:14

      • staywellfireyourdoctor

        mind you, where I come from, we pronounce the “o” in women like “oo” in “cook”.
        I’ve been scrolling down Elana to see if you mentioned what your first language is.
        But since I haven’t seen that bit yet, let me ask you:

        what is your first language?

        As for me, just yesterday I was grumbling to myself about how lazy most native English speakers are about being fluent in another language. Me, among them. Don’t most urban non-native English speakers speak at least two languages!

        January 20, 2012 at 20:11

  79. giuntacartoons

    Great stuff. There is a strong connection between cartoons and language and you have found the humor in it.

    January 17, 2012 at 23:56

    • I’m glad you think so! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 11:13

  80. I’ve never thought about the vegetarian/humanitarian thing before. Is a sectarian a humanitarian that only eats people who are part of a sect?

    January 18, 2012 at 00:08

    • Maybe. Or perhaps he only eats sects? Now that I think of it, that could be very dangerous to the indigestion! 😆

      January 18, 2012 at 11:13

  81. Yes! I often ask people what humanitarians eat.

    January 18, 2012 at 00:10

    • Then you probably get a look of disbelief! I always do.
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:11

  82. I am from Australia, the word ‘parkway’ doesn’t seem to be used here. We call them ‘freeways’.

    January 18, 2012 at 00:19

    • Good for the Australians – that makes much more sense! 😀
      Some of these are definitely region-specific.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:10

  83. Why do doctors and lawyers “practice” their professions?? What would it be called if they gave up “practicing” and performed for real?

    January 18, 2012 at 00:23

    • I certainly wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who was still practising! 😉 That’s another good one, thanks!

      January 18, 2012 at 11:09

  84. this was hilarious! a great capper for a long day at work 🙂 your blog is so cool. or maybe it’s so hot. whatever. thanks for sharing!

    January 18, 2012 at 00:34

    • Yes, exactly. We use “cool” and “hot” to mean the same thing in many contexts. 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 11:06

  85. Zan (:

    I’m confused too… but really, I loved this! Are the graphics yours? 🙂

    January 18, 2012 at 00:35

  86. Zan (:

    Oh… wait, never mind. I just scrolled up and saw that you did do them. Awesome! *hits myself in the head because I’m so stupid* XD

    January 18, 2012 at 00:36

    • Yes, I certainly draw all the graphics on this site myself. Unless I explicitly state it underneath one of them, but I don’t do that a lot.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:04

  87. Very hilarious…ive 1 more…why do we park in driveways and drive on parkways? U can keep that 1 if u like LOL

    January 18, 2012 at 00:38

    • That’s the same as the one I had already, thanks!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:59

  88. interiorlove

    Love this!! Some of my biggest pet peeves are faults in the English language! I particularly love the ‘humanitarian vs. vegetarian’ cartoon. Very entertaining!

    January 18, 2012 at 00:42

    • Thank you for the comment! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 10:55

  89. My copy-editing teacher always used to say that English was a “whore of a language.” This really just adds to his point.

    January 18, 2012 at 00:46

    • Very true!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:53

  90. You might find Freud’s essay, Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious, and his essay on Parapraxis for some psychoanalytic insight into language and all of its peculiarities. Unless you have already looked at those works.

    January 18, 2012 at 00:48

    • No, I haven’t. Thanks for the recommendation!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:50

  91. Maria Ada

    You say “idiocy,” I say “unabashed awesomeness.” Either way, definitely something to laugh at. Thanks for sharing your adorable cartoons!

    January 18, 2012 at 00:53

    • I still love it! Even though some of these things can be very stupid!
      Glad you like them! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 10:50

  92. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Love the cartoons and your observations…no wonder English is one of the world’s hardest languages to learn.

    January 18, 2012 at 01:11

    • Thank you, I can still hardly believe it! You said it!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:47

  93. JSD

    And I’ve heard driveways in Ontario referred to as ‘laneways’…?
    You’ve got some very good points here…enjoyed your comments.

    January 18, 2012 at 01:14

    • Then you can start saying “Why are you driving in the laneway? I thought you walked there?” 😉
      Thank you.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:46

  94. Two which you might have fun with are man’s laughter and manslaughter. Mayhap a sociapath came up with making one the other.

    January 18, 2012 at 01:34

    • It gets really dangerous to forget a space! Now how would I draw that one…? 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 10:45

  95. Haha!

    January 18, 2012 at 01:37

  96. In Swedish, the old word for potato is “earth-pear” and the current, actual word for strawberries is “earth-men”. I don’t know if the latter was named by aliens, but neither one of them really resemble the names they earned. I think you guys hit the jackpot with the pineapple there. At least it is vaguely pine-cone shaped.

    January 18, 2012 at 01:42

    • In French and Dutch, if you take their word for potato literally it means “apples of earth”. Which I can still kind of get. The same with your “earth-pear”. But “earth-men”? Now where did that one come from? 😉 You’re right about the pineapple. It’s vague. People must really have been searching for resemblances when they named it!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:43

  97. sounds like Richard Lederer material

    January 18, 2012 at 01:51

    • Well, maybe. You can have a lovely wordplay with these.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:38

  98. Haha. This is so true.

    January 18, 2012 at 01:53

    • Glad you laughed at the truth!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:18

  99. I was once told that the difference between desert and dessert was that with dessert you always want second(s). Enjoy always, T

    January 18, 2012 at 01:57

    • Clever! And that’s a good way to teach everyone who keeps getting it wrong! Thanks! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 10:13

  100. I always knew there was something fishy about those humanitarians…

    January 18, 2012 at 01:58

    • Definitely! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 10:12

  101. hehe clever. being a native english speaker (American) i never noticed how ironic the english language is… must be hard to learn

    January 18, 2012 at 01:59

    • You’re telling me!
      Thanks for the comment!

      January 18, 2012 at 10:09

  102. mariqia

    Hi nice blog. How did you do your signature at the bottom of your post. Been trying to figure out how to do mine. Thanks

    January 18, 2012 at 02:01

    • Thank you. It’s a JPG image that I designed myself. Then I upload it for every post.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:09

  103. And let’s not even get started on the whole lay, lain, laid thing…!

    January 18, 2012 at 02:01

  104. Thanks for the giggle today! 🙂

    January 18, 2012 at 02:09

    • No problem! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 10:07

  105. Val

    Great post! Is it disertion to desert desserts that deserve deserting?

    January 18, 2012 at 02:19

  106. This made my morning 🙂

    January 18, 2012 at 02:23

    • I’m very happy to hear it!

      January 18, 2012 at 09:57

  107. infamouslove

    Haha. This was a good one. Made me laugh. My favorite was “It’s cold as hell.” But instead of being a “language” thing maybe it has more to do with culture?

    January 18, 2012 at 02:33

    • I’m happy if you laughed. It’s certainly possible that it is culture. Some of these idiosyncrasies are region-confined, I think.

      January 18, 2012 at 09:55

  108. I am liking your writing. Keep it going and I will check back in to see what ya got!

    Sandy O

    January 18, 2012 at 02:44

    • I’m glad you do, and I will! 😀

      January 18, 2012 at 09:51

  109. Great post! My mom used to say this phrase, “I’ve been working as hard as a dog all day.” Until one day I looked out and saw our dog relaxing in the shade and said, “It’s a dog’s life.” But maybe my dog was just “dog tired,” cause he certainly wasn’t “cat napping.”

    January 18, 2012 at 02:57

    • Thanks! Haha, that’s very funny! 😆

      January 18, 2012 at 09:49

  110. manilazoo

    absolutely funny 😀

    January 18, 2012 at 03:07

    • Glad you thought so!

      January 18, 2012 at 09:47

  111. Brad

    I liked the cold as hell, hot as hell dilemma. I say it all the time, and it makes so sense but it’s just part of our culture. I take for granted how complex the English language really is. Good luck foreigners 🙂

    January 18, 2012 at 03:15

    • That is very true! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 09:44

  112. How about a running nose that isn’t going anywhere? 🙂
    Marvellous post!

    January 18, 2012 at 03:20

    • Yes… why do feet smell, but noses run? And why is it “noses” and not something like “nice”? 😉
      Thank you.

      January 18, 2012 at 09:42

    • Yes, noses run and feet smell.

      January 19, 2012 at 17:10

  113. Thank you Elana! Thanks to your adorable snippets, I am beginning to understand the mental process behind ladies parking technique.

    January 18, 2012 at 04:13

    • You haven’t seen my method yet! 😆

      January 18, 2012 at 09:30

  114. That’s how ironic English Language is.. and so is Life. I so love this. Keep it up!

    January 18, 2012 at 05:14

    • I’m glad you do, and I will! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 09:29

  115. Great post. The desert one made me giggle. Their, there and they’re is the one that gets me!

    January 18, 2012 at 14:06

    • Thank you! That’s excellent! 😀
      I have no problems with any of those, luckily. You’re not the only one who mentioned that – maybe it should be in my new post! 😉

      January 18, 2012 at 17:10

  116. Reblogged this on DiDi-licious and commented:
    So true!

    January 18, 2012 at 14:09

    • Thanks for the reblog! 🙂

      January 18, 2012 at 17:11

  117. I really give a lot of credit to people who become fluent in English after having mastered another language, first. I take the idiocy of English for granted. 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 07:06

    • I know, right? If you hear these silly things too much then you don’t even notice them anymore, they’re so much part of the ordinary.

      January 21, 2012 at 21:02

  118. Love your blend of humour, art and words. So tell me, as a struggling cartoonist myself, (unlike yourself – 10,000 hits!) How do you do it? Any tips would be appreciated.


    PS. Good to see some cartoons appear on freshly pressed

    January 19, 2012 at 08:25

    • I have no real idea how it happened. The… well, 30,000 hits by now (Thanks FP!) mostly just came by themselves while I was just doing my thing. All I did was write about stuff that people can relate to (like missing the bus and stupid everyday sayings), did it regularly and made sure my writing was high quality. Oh yes, and comment on other blogs – that helps!
      Thanks! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 21:07

  119. This is a great post. By mistake, I was drinking some water when I read the vegetarian/humanitarian one, resulting in quite the mess. Thanks so much for sharing, and you are so right about English!

    January 19, 2012 at 08:30

    • Oh dear. I’ve snorted several different kinds of liquid (all legal 😉 ) from laughing at blogs. I’ve learned not to drink anything by now! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 21:09

  120. Cute!

    January 19, 2012 at 08:39

    • Great to hear!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:11

  121. I had fun reading this very sensible yet fun post. Talking about another nuance there — if you may qualify that. 😉

    H’m … I need to desert the comment box now for my dessert in the desert, huh.

    Seriously, that’s one fantastic post. I have all the reasons to like it. You made my day, Lady, and I thank you for that!

    January 19, 2012 at 09:17

    • Who wouldn’t desert the comments for some dessert? 😉
      Thanks so much for the lovely comment! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 21:13

  122. Not all people consider hell to be a hot place. There are various different types of hell. I myself do see hell as a cold desolate place. Just to put that out there.

    January 19, 2012 at 09:40

    • I am definitely aware of this. It’s a culture thing, really. I am also aware of the Norse and Germanic mythology which considered Hell to be freezing cold. Then there are the mythologies that tell of the seven layers of hell, each with a different temperature/appearance.
      It still remains funny that the two sayings should co-exist in English.

      January 21, 2012 at 21:17

  123. What a funny post! As a wannabe writer myself, I never thought about looking at the English language from this angle…to notice just how weird the language I take for granted actually is! My grandma, who immigrated to the United States from the Philippines, has mentioned that learning English was difficult for this very reason…that the reasoning behind many of our words do not make any sense!
    Thank you for enlightening me…and congats on being Freshly Pressed! 😉

    January 19, 2012 at 09:45

    • Really? I can never stop over-analysing everything about the language! 😉
      Thank you!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:19

  124. I love this post! I have discovered today your blog, I like it! Hope to see more posts! I love the dessert one!:)

    January 19, 2012 at 10:13

    • Haha, I like that one very much too! Thanks!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:25

  125. Hahaha! I love these cartoons. The dessert one was my favorite!

    January 19, 2012 at 10:13

    • Mine too! Thank you!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:28

  126. very funny cartoons. funny thought with humanitarian.


    January 19, 2012 at 10:25

    • English is just weird like that, isn’t it? 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 21:33

  127. Rob

    Nice Post. I will recommend this post to others who are asking about the confusing words in the English language.

    BTW, all languages that I hear and read have their own “idiocies”; not only English.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:30

    • I hope you do recommend it!
      Yes, it is probably language-universal to be a bit idiotic! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 21:35

  128. I think I love your blog. So entertaining. Thanks for starting my day with not one but many laughs. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:33

    • I’m happy if I could make you laugh! Thanks! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 21:37

  129. Anna

    I love the deser/dessert one, such a classic!
    And about pinecone and apple as pineapple. I guess, since pinecones kind of have a similar shape (being longer, round-ish, uneven) but apples have a taste (I mean, they are eadible and taste like a fruit), that is probably a reason.
    It could however also be pineberry of pineorange or something like that. Just guessing 🙂
    Hope you have a great day, and thanks for making me laugh 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 11:08

    • Yes, exactly – why not pineorange? 😉
      My pleasure!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:40

  130. funny post, thank you!

    January 19, 2012 at 11:17

    • No problem! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 21:41

    • Thanks for the link – I enjoyed it! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 21:48

  131. wittylaila


    January 19, 2012 at 11:41

    • It’s wonderful that you think so!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:49

  132. thetravelexpert

    I think your blog is absolutely correct. It would also seem that once you start to think you got it, the urban slang hits. This language is in it’s own little world.

    January 19, 2012 at 11:44

    • Ah, the slang! Don’t get me started on that!

      January 21, 2012 at 21:52

  133. Pine Cone nor an Apple! Lol that’s cute 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 12:21

    • And not a pine tree either! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 21:56

  134. The English language has loads of strange things like this, loving the images depicting this! :’)

    January 19, 2012 at 12:29

    • That’s very true. I’m happy you like them!

      January 21, 2012 at 22:02

  135. I’m in complete agreement with you! I teach ESL and I regularly find myself trying to explain the most ridiculous idioms and expressions. Even some of the rules that seem to make sense don’t really seem useful. For example: the use of capital letters. Of course English is not the only language that requires capital letters but seriously, do we even need them? I can’t think of a single instance where capital letters are absolutely crucial and/or cannot be easily replaced with punctuation or creative dictation.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:43

    • I, for one, am very fond of my capital letters and it irks me to no end when people use none at all. I don’t know, I think they make things clearer and easier to read. Oh well, I can’t force people to type like I do! 😉
      I think you mean “diction”, by the way! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 22:09

  136. those pictures are cute. they made me laugh

    January 19, 2012 at 12:46

    • That’s good to hear! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 22:17

  137. Insanely, ridiculously and outrageously written. It’s obviously between the words but I never thought how pineapples got it’s name too. Good thinking!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:57

    • Wow, thank you! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 22:25

  138. Yom

    I’m so glad I’ve encountered this post today – undeniably entertaining. 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 13:29

    • Yay, that’s great to hear!

      January 21, 2012 at 22:27

  139. Funny! My friend and I were just talking about the pineapple thing today, and I log onto Word press and see this post!:-D

    January 19, 2012 at 14:29

    • Great minds think alike!

      January 21, 2012 at 22:31

  140. Taimu nozhan

    EVERYBODY knows that humanitarians eat… humanitables!
    As for freedom fighters, the ones on the other side would probably agree they do fight freedom :/

    January 19, 2012 at 14:46

    • Haha!
      Unfortunately, yes. 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 22:32

  141. UrbaneJean

    Nice post. I think things like this are common in every language. What annoys me more in English are the different pronunciations of similar words, e.g. nature – mature, through – trough, etc. Easy to make mistakes here.

    January 19, 2012 at 14:53

    • Yes, I call it “getting knots in your tongue”. And “tongue” is also one of those nasty ones to spell, by the way! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 22:36

  142. Love the first One. Hilarious. Please check out my blog too. Much love xx

    January 19, 2012 at 15:12

    • It’s the language that is that hilarious!

      January 21, 2012 at 22:39

  143. beckyspringer

    I love this!! I love the English language, it’s so tricky. Such words like tough (tuff), dough (doe) and through (threw) make this language one of the hardest to learn as they all look the same! Thanks for posting!

    January 19, 2012 at 15:19

    • Yes, that is true! No problem! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 22:41

  144. Woman

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!!!

    I love these little thoughts on the English language!!!

    January 19, 2012 at 15:34

    • Thanks so much and I’m glad you like it! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 22:47

  145. madisoncary

    entertaining! love your cartoons!

    January 19, 2012 at 15:41

    • That is wonderful to hear!

      January 21, 2012 at 22:48

  146. Cute post! I’ve heard some of these before, but now that you brought them up again, I find myself chuckling like a confused little kid.

    January 19, 2012 at 15:42

    • Just think how confused little kids must be by these! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 23:13

  147. Haha! One of the funniest blogs I’ve read! The English language is indeed strange at times but that’s what makes it charming 😉

    I am learning Swedish at the moment and they have some very strange sayings as well.. When I hear them I just look at the person and think “Huh? That makes no sense!” Then I read stuff like this and realise I probably sound strange to Swedes sometimes LOL


    January 19, 2012 at 15:45

    • Wow, thanks for the compliment!
      That is true (and wise)!

      January 21, 2012 at 23:15

  148. I do sympathise with people who are not native English speakers yet have to learn it. It’s a complete minefield. Being an English speaker can also be a nightmare when learning a foreign language too, even with the best of intentions…………………….. “What, there’s no word for “etiolated” ? ”
    Good post. 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 15:49

    • A minefield – yes, that is a good description! Haha! 😛

      January 21, 2012 at 23:17

  149. This was hilarious! I’ve always wondered the mysteries of the pineapple as well

    January 19, 2012 at 16:01

    • You know what they say – great minds think alike! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 23:18

  150. lukonia

    I love, love, love, love this post! As a teacher to younger children, the craziness of the English language is confusing and hard to explain!

    January 19, 2012 at 16:07

    • I love that you love it! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 23:20

  151. lottoresultsblog786

    Great post, I have got my FB statuses for next week. Thanks.

    January 19, 2012 at 16:09

    • Be prepared to enter into an argument over some of them! Just see the comments above! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 23:21

  152. interesting. many other silly sounding stuff out there. maybe you can extend this to include few more. Like your cartoons.

    January 19, 2012 at 16:12

    • Yes, I probably could make another post on this. Thanks!

      January 21, 2012 at 23:23

  153. Love your post! I’m impressed you answered every comment!!

    January 19, 2012 at 16:23

    • 😀 Thanks! Well, I’ve always answered everything before, so I’m not stopping now, even if it IS a deluge! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 23:25

  154. After all this, there are some like below…

    Fill in the blanks with YES or NO…

    ____, I dont have a brain.


    January 19, 2012 at 16:41

    • Catch-22! 😆

      January 21, 2012 at 23:26

  155. For someone like me whose first language isn’t English, it is quite difficult sometimes to make sense of the things I see and hear in the English language, like Pineapple. I have asked my friends about that but nobody can come up with a good explanation LOL. My favorite of all is “cold as hell”, I just used that phrase a few minutes ago when I got out of a taxi :).
    Great post!

    January 19, 2012 at 16:42

    • I know, right? 😉 Thanks!

      January 21, 2012 at 23:28

  156. I laughed SO hard. When I learned English in elementary school in Hungary, these were kind of the exact questions that popped up in my brain. 🙂
    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    January 19, 2012 at 16:46

    • Good to hear I’m not the only one wondering about things like these! Thanks! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 23:31

  157. to write humour is not easy. good work Elana. keep it up:0 spread smiles around to make this world a pleasant place:)

    January 19, 2012 at 16:57

    • Really? I’ve been doing it so long that I don’t notice it anymore. 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 23:33

  158. Finally….someone understands my way of thinking. An excellent read!!

    January 19, 2012 at 17:04

    • Yay! I feel the same!

      January 21, 2012 at 23:34

  159. There’s emphasis:
    I don’t objéct to óbjects.

    Why is God ómnipresent, ómniscient and yet also omnípotent?

    And then there’s spelling: my surname has ough in it, which could be any of ten pronunciations! (it’s actually uf as in enough, rough, tough etc. although another variation could be)

    According to one person (can’t remember his name) fish could be spelt ‘ghoti’ if you take gh from enough, o from women and ti from station!

    I got frustrated with English (despite it being my first language) but I just remind myself that languages aren’t always logical, and if they were then communication would be fairly two dimensional lol. I mean, humans aren’t 100% logical, so why should our languages? 😉

    Loved the post.

    January 19, 2012 at 17:06

    • “although another variation could be…” oo as in through, I meant to say.

      January 19, 2012 at 17:08

      • *sigh* Yes. Just as you think you’ve got everything about the language nailed down, along comes things like these.
        It was George Bernard Shaw who said that.
        That’s true. Thanks! 🙂

        January 21, 2012 at 23:37

  160. Is the poem you were thinking of ‘The Chaos’ by Gerard Nolst Trenité? You can find it online here: It’s fun to (try to) read aloud.

    January 19, 2012 at 17:12

    • No, it wasn’t, but I wouldn’t even try to read that one aloud! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 23:38

  161. Love how well you illustrated the idiocy of the English language with cartoons… thank you! I am sure we can find some silly ones for French too, especially homophones…. like in English: “coach” and “couch”…. so close!

    January 19, 2012 at 17:16

    • I’m glad you like them!
      I’ve seen so many people write “I’m sitting on the coach”, which of course brings to mind several inappropriate images! 😛

      January 21, 2012 at 23:42

  162. I got an image on Facebook which said “English doesn’t borrow words, it follows other languages down dark alleys, mugs them and searches their pockets for loose grammar.

    Part of its inconsistnecy is that it’ll borrow a word, keep the spelling, and to some extent the pronunciation but with anglo-phone accent. If you go to London and hear someone say they went to Ibiza, it might come out “uybeefa” lol.

    January 19, 2012 at 17:20

    • Haha! 😆
      That’s very true, by the way. I’ve thought of that before.

      January 21, 2012 at 23:43

  163. Hilarious! English is really difficult sometimes.. for all of this confusing words!

    January 19, 2012 at 17:22

    • Yes, exactly! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:02

  164. cute post… out of the box thinking:) anyways, keep rocking…. enjoyed the satire….

    January 19, 2012 at 17:24

    • I’m glad you did! Thank you for the comment! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:04

  165. It’s very interesting and for myself, i always wonder why this word is being called a ‘good’bye, as if it’s a ‘good’ thing, when the literal meaning for it (which is ‘separation’) is usually a ‘bad’ thing.

    January 19, 2012 at 17:46

    • Yes, that is very true. And then Shakespeare went and wrote that “parting is such sweet sorrow”… 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:06

  166. I like this and it was cute. I love the cartoons. I understand what you are getting at, but pineapples resemble a pine cone and they also look like an apple.

    January 19, 2012 at 17:46

    • Do they look like an apple to you? They certainly don’t to me! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:08

  167. Honestly, every language is wildly inconsistent and full of nuances that could take a lifetime to learn. The trouble with English is that it is SO prevalent, that different groups of people all over the world have formed their own special idioms of it, and now, given globalization, they come into contact far more frequently and thus sow greater confusion. BUT THAT’S A GREAT THING. Trying to fix a language’s form kills the ever-changing living aspect of it (as happened with Latin).

    I know I took this a little heavy, but I’m an English major, what the hell do you expect 😉

    January 19, 2012 at 17:54

    • Well said!
      So am I! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 00:12

  168. rmv

    my issues with language are more about pronunciation. for example, it drives me nuts how many different pronunciations there are for the letter combination “-ough.”

    through – “throo”
    rough – “ruff”
    bough – “bow”
    cough – “cawf”

    then add a “t” on the end, and “thought” becomes “thawt.”


    January 19, 2012 at 18:34

    • Yes, exactly, “grrr”! 😉 These are some of the worst ones!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:14

  169. (Christian-Comment) Haha, well … don’t be afraid, it’s not just the crazy Englishmen 🙂
    A German insurance agent has to “arrest” his customer. No, for real! Just translate “verhaften”, and that’s just the word Germans use when they speak of selling an insurance.

    January 19, 2012 at 18:46

    • Unfortunately they’ve taken over the world! 😉
      Hahaha! 😆

      January 22, 2012 at 00:15

  170. When in college, people would ask me “Do you go here?” I would look at them perplexed and say “I can’t possibly GO here. I AM here. You can only go elsewhere, right?” Oh English as a second language, as long as you don’t try to make sense of it you’ll be fine.

    Loved your post.

    January 19, 2012 at 18:49

    • Thanks for sharing that one! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 00:17

  171. LMAO (and whyy do we say “laughing my ass off?” is it going to run away and i shall have no ass? 😛 😛 sorry for the “crude” language, but i just have to say this was a fantastically hilarious post!

    January 19, 2012 at 19:07

  172. Great post! Thank you for sharing!

    January 19, 2012 at 19:16

    • Thank YOU for commenting! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:23

  173. hydracid5

    Great post. 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 19:18

    • 😀 Thanks!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:24

  174. I’m spanish and I can say, having learned English studying it, it’s difficult to remember the differences of des[s]erts and their pronunciations. I can learn the rules and remember them for 1 or 2 hours, but I ALWAYS forget them. arghh

    January 19, 2012 at 19:23

    • Mnemonics have always helped me. But anyway, the only thing that really helps is practise. I’ve been there…

      January 22, 2012 at 00:25

  175. blackshepherd

    ok…I only have time to explain one cause I have other more pressing obsessions to attend to:

    Boxing RIng: originally fighting was bare fisted and the audience stood around the combatants in a “ring” cause that is the most effecient way to view something like that….people never spontaneously form themselves into squares…it’s in our DNA…we have technology to thank for the “square”…we should have stopped right there…

    As for the rest of the English language…clearly…it’s hopeless….

    January 19, 2012 at 19:36

    • That is very interesting about the boxing ring. And it is also interesting that the term survived long after rings were no longer round nor made up of people…

      January 22, 2012 at 00:26

  176. Yes indeed complex..Enjoyed the read..And had a good laugh…

    January 19, 2012 at 19:48

    • Thank you, Zee!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:27

  177. The hot as hell / cold as hell part made me giggle. But did you know that prior to Dante’s Inferno (or at least I’m pretty sure that was the catalyst, it’s been awhile since I took that humanities class), medieval art and writings depicted hell as being frozen? So in a way… BOTH are true, depending on how you look at it!

    Thanks for the smile today. I’m definitely going to be following this blog now!

    January 19, 2012 at 20:06

    • Yes, I did know that. It had its roots in the Germanic and Norse mythologies, which depicted Hell as full of ice and darkness.
      Thanks for following! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:29

  178. Thanks for this. I’m an EFL teacher so this is great teaching stuff 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 20:27

    • I’m glad to hear it!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:30

  179. awesome..

    January 19, 2012 at 20:49

  180. How well written… loved it. Congrats on being freshly pressed.

    January 19, 2012 at 20:57

    • Thanks, I’m happy to hear you say so!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:32

  181. The Evolution of English is a very interesting topic, I read a great book about it once. Righting the Mother Tongue by David Wolman

    January 19, 2012 at 21:16

    • Thanks for sharing this book suggestion, I look forward to reading it once it comes in at my local library. 🙂

      January 19, 2012 at 23:50

      • Thanks for the recommendation – I love topics like those! 🙂

        January 22, 2012 at 00:33

  182. This is a really entertaining look at the sometimes ridiculous, always wonderful English language! Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

    January 19, 2012 at 21:20

    • I’m glad to hear it was entertaining!
      Thank you! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:34

  183. Mal

    Well done, Elana! Fantastic drawings and excellent food for thought…hearty congrats on getting Freshly Pressed.. 🙂

    Just a passing thought… There’s no egg in eggplant. And, if the plural of goose is geese, shouldn’t the plural of moose be meese?? 😆

    January 19, 2012 at 21:22

    • Thank you so much!
      Haha, thanks for pointing it out! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:35

  184. Interesting post, but also interesting would be: What is it with you and Great Britain? You wrote that you’ve never been there, but you would have liked to be born there? Why?

    January 19, 2012 at 21:22

    • I seem to have a bit of an obsession about it, yes. I think it must come from my eternal fascination with the English language. I want to see where the language was born!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:37

  185. Love your post – very funny and something everyone wonders about but rarely says.

    January 19, 2012 at 21:31

    • Yes, most people miss it, I have noticed!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:38

  186. Such a great blog:) And great insight too!

    January 19, 2012 at 21:34

    • Wow, okay! Thanks!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:39

  187. Love it! I so agree! English is my second language and while I’m pretty good at spelling, grammar, etc I am often baffled by those same words you’ve mentioned! Congrats on being FP too 🙂

    January 19, 2012 at 21:41

    • I’m not baffled as such, but often annoyed and always fascinated. 😉 Thanks!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:41

  188. Pretty sure I read that a parkway was a road that went through parks, well that was their intension anyway. Great post though!

    January 19, 2012 at 21:56

    • It would certainly have made more sense! Thanks! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:42

  189. Very nice blog and good post, I hope to be more to come!

    January 19, 2012 at 22:04

    • I hope so too, thanks!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:43

  190. André Pusey

    I am really interested in the English language, and spend a hell of a lot of my time (way too much!) arguing with people about spelling, grammar, syntax, word order, and the Oxford comma. This is an interesting blog post, but I disagree that the English language is inferior to any others, or ‘idiotic’.

    It is very difficult that English is pretty much a mumbo jumbo of other languages and the writings of some of our most beloved writers… but I believe it shows off our multiculturalism and our ability to adapt and continue. Ideally everything would be codified, but our language is so interwoven now that there’s absolutely no way of changing it. I say stick with traditionalism, but that’s just me…

    Anyway, interesting post!

    January 19, 2012 at 22:13

    • So do I: I argue about it way too much! 😉
      I was actually being sarcastic when I called it idiotic. I don’t really think that. In truth the language fascinates me and I love it – even these idiosyncrasies.

      January 22, 2012 at 00:47

  191. Supercool!! Interestingly confused.. but enjoyed it!! wow!!

    January 19, 2012 at 22:20

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it that much! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:48

  192. hot and cold for hell has got be my favorite from the post. It’s for such weird uses that I love this language, the interpretation gets me!

    January 19, 2012 at 22:27

    • Yes, isn’t it weird how two sayings like that should co-exist? 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:49

  193. Nice post. I especially liked the part about the vegetarian and humanitarian. Sharing these sayings with students can be really fun and can really get them thinking, thus challenging and questioning what we understand about the complexity of the English language.

    January 19, 2012 at 23:18

    • Thanks. I hope you do share it! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:50

  194. German Surfer

    Do you know why you can pronounce GHOTI as fish?
    See this:
    -> enouGH
    -> wOmen
    -> naTIon
    Got it?

    January 19, 2012 at 23:57

    • Yep, it was George Bernard Shaw who said that!

      January 22, 2012 at 00:51

  195. I’ve always found the english language rather peculiar. It often occurs to me when i see a misuse of they’re/there/their or any of the other common but easily avoidable misuses that it may not completely be the authors fault. Our language seems to be written to trick us into using the wrong word often. I recently met a french girl who spoke english quite well, but often she would misuse a word that seems to make sense but simply does not. I foudn your humor of the language as a shared thought with myself, and quite humorous. Keep Writing 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 00:06

    • Yes, I know. The misuse still irks me, though. I always want to say that if I learned how to do it properly, why not everyone else. Ah well, if they did, I wouldn’t have a job! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:53

  196. Very funny.

    January 20, 2012 at 00:37

    • Smashing to hear! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:53

  197. LOL!
    My family & I love to laugh at the funny things about our language. I especially like the “I’m humanitarian” one. 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 00:48

    • I’m glad you liked that one so much! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 00:54

  198. Sounds like Richard Lederer’s Reader’s Digest article . . . Our Crazy Language!

    January 20, 2012 at 01:17

    • Crazy indeed. 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:55

  199. A lovely post ! You made my day, congrats and thank you ! 😉

    January 20, 2012 at 01:58

    • I live for making people’s day! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:57

  200. And on top of everything that you mentioned, there are all the strange spellings. But enuf is enuf, I can’t get into all of that tonite, altho I probably shood.

    January 20, 2012 at 03:00

  201. James

    Double Negatives always get me ruffled, I never know what not to say about them!


    January 20, 2012 at 03:24

    • Thank you for the comment, James!
      And English is not even supposed to have any double negatives, but people still keep on putting them in.

      January 22, 2012 at 00:59

  202. Loved this, very funny. It’s things like this that make teaching English fun…challenging but fun. 😛

    January 20, 2012 at 03:27

    • Of course, it is always fun and it makes one forget the challenge!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:00

  203. Loved your cartoons. English is my second language, so I am acutely aware of strange discrepancies. One which I have always considered very odd may inspire another cartoon. The words: pretty and awful. Put them together and you can say “awful pretty” or “pretty awful.”

    January 20, 2012 at 03:30

    • Thanks awful much for the pretty comment! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:01

  204. Reblogged this on ipatrice and commented:
    This is so true! I think about stuff like this all the time. Just wanted to share this with everyone. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 04:23

    • Thank you for reblogging! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 01:02

  205. creative post, I laugh when I see humanitarian pic :mrgreen:

    January 20, 2012 at 04:36

    • Excellent, thank you!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:03

  206. elizabethweaver

    The poem kept me laughing throughout & your drawings are wonderful. Thanks!

    January 20, 2012 at 05:49

    • I’m glad to hear it, Elizabeth!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:04

  207. A very sweet post..:)

    January 20, 2012 at 07:48

  208. I enjoyed this post, thanks! First time seeing your blog– I’ll have to take a look around.

    January 20, 2012 at 07:52

    • Feel free! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:06

  209. I love this.
    So smart and funny.

    Loved the ‘parking’ one 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 07:56

    • Haha, thanks for letting me know!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:08

  210. lol!! I have to agree about the oddities of the english language (but I like being able to say “I didn’t know it meant that! I thought it meant this” when I get confused (which is an almost normal state for me :)) so I won’t complain)
    You have some great drawings! They’re really cute!!

    January 20, 2012 at 07:58

    • Hope I didn’t confuse you too much!
      Thanks! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 01:09

  211. Love it! Thanks.

    January 20, 2012 at 08:27

    • Thanks, Scott! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 01:09

  212. I love your wit!!

    January 20, 2012 at 08:45

    • Wow, thanks for letting me know!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:10


    Great post!

    The German language is sometimes as crazy as English.
    You take a walk around the block in English while you take a walk around the pudding in German.

    Please don’t ask me why?


    January 20, 2012 at 08:59

    • Now, why would I want to walk around a pudding…? 😉 Unless I was about to desert it in the desert?
      Thanks Anja!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:12

  214. Eki Akhwan

    I am an EFL teacher, and I like this post!
    Thanks for sharing.

    January 20, 2012 at 09:42

    • I’m glad I have your approval! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:13

  215. very nice article.=)

    January 20, 2012 at 10:17

    • 🙂 Thanks!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:14

  216. I think this is the original you refer to:

    Let’s face it: English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
    English muffins were not invented in England or 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 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? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese? One index, two indices? Is cheese the plural of choose?
    If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

    In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck 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 hell one day an cold as hell another?

    When 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.

    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?

    January 20, 2012 at 10:50

    • Great response Rod Davis!

      January 21, 2012 at 02:48

    • I found that one online as well. It could possibly be the one I am thinking of, but I’m not sure. I was pretty sure the first one rhymed. But this is probably as close as I’ll get to it. Thanks! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 00:40

  217. You made my afternoon today! A very amusing post and well prtrayed

    January 20, 2012 at 12:05

    • Yay, that is great to hear! Thank you!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:15

  218. My job is teaching Korean students the English language. They sometimes ask me why so many things in English are inconsistent. I tell them it’s because our language is haunted.

    January 20, 2012 at 13:07

    • Yes, it’s the ghosts of the past that throw up all these strange things! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:17

  219. Hahaha! Very creative language as you say. And it’s cold as hell here in Scotland I have to say ;-). Nice one!

    January 20, 2012 at 15:03

    • Have fun in the cold! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:19

  220. Pingback: That was *yaaaaaaawwwn* fun! « Tripping over Pebbles in the dark

  221. lol, arent words fun 😀 nice blog, did you draw those toons your self?

    January 20, 2012 at 16:29

    • Yes, they are!
      And yes, I did draw them! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 01:20

  222. I loved this! The cartoons were a nice touch.

    January 20, 2012 at 16:34

    • Thank you, Lorraine!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:20

  223. Hilarious! Well done 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 16:38

    • Awesome to hear that!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:21

  224. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! What an interesting article!
    Something just popped up in my head:
    “The title says it all, but a title can’t speak!”
    Its not as good as your article but definitely follows the brief.
    Have a good time! 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 17:03

    • Ah, that’s another of those senseless things that enter ordinary language to such a degree that we don’t even notice it anymore!
      Thank you! 🙂

      January 20, 2012 at 19:33

  225. This is great! I ‘lol-ed’ in the LITERAL sense 🙂

    January 20, 2012 at 19:11

    • I wouldn’t want to know how one would LOL in the figurative sense… :O

      January 22, 2012 at 01:23

  226. Avishek Paul

    Reading your blog for the first time. Very nice one. :))))

    January 20, 2012 at 19:25

    • Welcome and thanks! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 01:24

  227. In French the word for “pinecone” is “pomme de pin” — you guessed it, “pine apple.” Akin to “pomme de terre” — “earth apple” = potato. But when you get fries at your meal (of course, they don’t call them French fries), usually they’re just called “pommes frites”…which is literally “fried apples” if you think about it. English isn’t the only language with weird expressions!

    January 20, 2012 at 19:53

    • That was so interesting! Thanks for sharing! Hmm, I sense another connection between French and English… Though a “pineapple” is “l’ananas”, if I remember correctly…?
      That’s very true!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:28

  228. I love this! I always had a hard time in my English classes (even as a native speaker!), and there was so much I didn’t get until I started learning other languages. Ironically, English was easier when translated into German…

    January 20, 2012 at 21:12

    • Wow, how ironic is that?! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 01:29

  229. Love it! I see this all the time when trying to help people learn languages. (And when I’m speaking Spanish.) There are also just so many phrases that do not compute. It makes explaining things difficult.

    January 20, 2012 at 21:30

    • Yes, to laugh at it is easy. To try to explain it is difficult!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:30

  230. Pingback: WHOA! « friday night dinner project

  231. it’s really great.

    January 20, 2012 at 22:07

  232. Well, humanists should eat humans :p

    January 20, 2012 at 22:26

    • That’s humanitarians, actually. 😉 I don’t know what humanists should eat according to language-logic!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:25

  233. Cute way of thinking. We’re from different cultures; yet a seriousness of one may be amusing to another. Good post. Love english.

    January 20, 2012 at 22:47

    • I’m glad you think so! Thanks for commenting!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:23

  234. Bob Arnold

    “I don’t give a damn for the man that can spell a word only one way”. Mark Twain.

    January 20, 2012 at 22:50

    • You need only learn English and then you need never offend Mark Twain! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 20:23

  235. Bob Arnold

    AIR…we breath.
    E’ER…contraction of ever.
    ERR…to make a mistake.
    HEIR…one who will inherit
    ARE…1/100th of a hectare


    BOAR…wild pig.
    BOER…South African of Dutch decent.
    BORE…not interesting.
    BORE…to tunnel.
    BOOR…tastless buffoon.


    CARAT..weight of precious stones.
    CARET…proof readers insertion mark.
    CARROT…edible root.
    KARAT…1/24th part of otherwise pure gold .


    CLAUS…fat guy with presents.
    CLAUSE…contractual unit.
    CLAWS..big fingernails.

    …..and hundreds more.

    January 20, 2012 at 23:25

    • Thanks for these and for commenting! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 20:22

  236. Pingback: Writer cartoon | Finappx

  237. Your post made me think about something I heard in college years ago. I would like someone to tell me: Why if it is tough enough in the rough, do we not “cough” (cuff) when we have a cold?????? Think about it for a second and then blame our bowler wearing, fog breathing, umbrella carrying, wrong side of the road driving cousins across the pond! Great toons and great reasoning. Cheerie-O old girl! J.

    January 20, 2012 at 23:49

    • Yes, pronunciation is almost crazier than the spelling and saying! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 20:21

  238. sparshahuja9

    LOL, this made my day 🙂


    January 20, 2012 at 23:52

    • Awesome! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 20:11

  239. Your writing style is really good! I enjoyed reading this (and I agree with everything you said), and I hope to read more of your work soon!

    January 21, 2012 at 00:10

    • Yay, I’m glad you think so!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:18

  240. English is pretty funny and full of strange sayings. I remember a book when I was a little girl that was called Chocolate Moose for Dinner or something like that. It was all about sayings that seem hilariously weird when taken literally (or how they sound anyway).

    January 21, 2012 at 00:11

    • Obviously I immediately had a picture of a chocolate moose (the animal) in my head, just because that is the way it works! 😉
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:17

  241. ida

    lol, i like this. u’re creative..!! 😉

    January 21, 2012 at 00:31

    • Thanks! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 20:14

  242. Christa

    I loved this! It touched on a lot of things I have always wondered about. Like words that are related. Such as, horror and terror or horrible and terrible. What about horrific and terrific?

    January 21, 2012 at 00:57

    • Yep, horror and terror make good synonyms, as do horrible and terrible. But horrific and terrific make good antonyms. English! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 20:12

  243. now…that was something to laugh about !!! keep blogging

    January 21, 2012 at 00:57

    • Yay! I will!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:11

  244. Hehhehee… don’t you just love the English language? Have you read Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson? If not, do have a read – it is hilarious!
    Great Post!

    January 21, 2012 at 00:58

    • No, I haven’t. I’ll have to look into it, thank you!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:10

  245. Pingback: I ‘Pressed This’ « thepeasantsdaughter

  246. Too funny! Love your illustrations!

    January 21, 2012 at 01:52

    • I’m glad you do!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:08

  247. Happy to have stumbled ‘pun your blog. Clever post! I have the same affinity for the language. Congrats on being FP!

    January 21, 2012 at 01:54

    • Thank you! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 20:06

  248. anna.lemons.nerd

    Haha, you’re just like me, over analyzing everything to the point of nerdiness! Love your posts, you’re one funny blogger (:

    January 21, 2012 at 02:32

    • Yes, I can never stop thinking and analysing! 😉 Thank you!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:05

  249. Hahaha, so true. Other English-speaking countries have funny words too, such as in Australia where a garage or parking lot is called a car park. Imagine that, a park for cars! Do you let your car run free like your dog when you take it to the dog park?

    January 21, 2012 at 02:46

    • Some of the region-specific ones can be especially funny to foreigners, that’s true!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:03

  250. amusid

    hahahah very funny, i like this.

    January 21, 2012 at 02:47

    • I’m happy to hear it!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:02

  251. Haha – Love it. I taught ESL in Taiwan for a while and know firsthand the challenges of teaching the English language. I especially like the word “bow”.

    Is it a bow tie?
    The bow of a ship?
    Taking a bow?
    A bow and arrow?
    Lil’ Bow Wow?

    January 21, 2012 at 03:27

    • And then you can still go figurative and “bow to the inevitable”!
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 21, 2012 at 20:00

  252. Dor

    There is subliminal “education” in this post! I may learn the ambiguities of the English language yet and laugh in the process! Thanks for your hilarious drawings and your “right-on” assessment of our creative language.

    January 21, 2012 at 03:47

    • I do always say that laughter is not only the best medicine, but also the best education! 😉 Thanks for commenting!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:55

  253. Because I can’t resist:
    Why is abbreviation such a long word? What about monosyllabic?
    Why is it called a television set if you only get one?
    If two louses are lice and two mouses are mice, why aren’t two houses hice?
    Why are fat chance and slim chance the same thing?
    Why do we say something is out of whack? What even is a whack?

    January 21, 2012 at 03:56

    • Thanks for these! And why do we wear “jeans“? Wouldn’t one jean have been enough? 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 19:52

  254. Hahahaha…
    you really open my eyes….no actually i open myself ***worry wrong word with***….
    make me laugh….
    its really cool… brilliant Elena.. love all post


    January 21, 2012 at 05:18

    • Haha, thank you, Risty!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:51

  255. oh my, so funny! Your writing is wonderful, and the drawings hilarious. Thanks for the laugh.

    January 21, 2012 at 06:24

    • Thank you!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:50

  256. Pingback: Passed my classes? « 24.15 °N 120.68°E

  257. Snorlax

    Hey! How about this: car + pet = carpet?
    ~* Eli *~

    January 21, 2012 at 07:16

    • The combination might cause problems, yes. 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 19:49

  258. Snorlax

    AND we recite in a play, but play in a recital. Send something by CAR? SHIPment. By SHIP? CARgo.

    January 21, 2012 at 07:19

    • Exactly. 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 19:41

  259. thank you for making my day.
    great post! 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 07:54

    • It’s my pleasure to have made your day!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:36

  260. AWESOME

    Elena, you’re awesomeness personified :o)

    January 21, 2012 at 08:20

    • Oooopsss… ELANA i mean, sorry for the typo…

      January 21, 2012 at 08:23

      • I was just about to point it out! I can never resist! 😉

        January 21, 2012 at 19:33

  261. all i can say is…


    January 21, 2012 at 08:54

    • Well, wow. 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 19:32

  262. elana. make it simple and it will more twinkle, is my anthem when i write and you have followed it to perfection. nice post

    January 21, 2012 at 10:43

    • Thanks! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 19:30

  263. Haha!! Funny stuf. Good work!

    January 21, 2012 at 11:01

    • I’m glad you think so!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:30

  264. Reblogged this on coxcastillo.

    January 21, 2012 at 11:07

    • Thanks for the reblog!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:29

  265. so cute and funny. Loving them all. Wish I am more creative :).

    January 21, 2012 at 13:30

    • I’m glad you like them, but I also have to point out that you can teach yourself creative thinking. I did.

      January 21, 2012 at 19:21

  266. i love your post! it’s very witty and made me laugh 😀

    January 21, 2012 at 14:38

    • I’m glad it did! Thanks!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:17

  267. Ha. I was just discussing these things with some Brazilian friends last night. It’s hard to give a logical explanation so I just kind of say, “yeah, that’s how it is.” English is a funny language with endless possibilities. Good stuff.

    January 21, 2012 at 15:04

    • Or, as my French lecturer used to say “It’s there just to annoy you!” Thanks.

      January 21, 2012 at 19:16

  268. I was feeling a little lonely and then I came across this post.

    Now I cant stop laughing 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 16:00

    • ^That^ is officially awesome to hear! 😀

      January 21, 2012 at 19:06

  269. Highlighting asinine words and phrases always gets laughs from 8 and 9-year-old critical thinkers. I can’t wait to share these illustrations with my students next week. Thanks!

    January 21, 2012 at 17:37

    • I hope they can handle all the awesomeness! 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:02

  270. Awesome blog idea, are you using the premium version of WordPress?

    January 21, 2012 at 17:40

    • Nope, can’t afford it! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 19:01

  271. Jo

    To add to you idiocy list:
    I can’t get over the fact I hear “The alarm goes off” If I can hear it, It goes on, right?
    As a foreigner I always wondered why!

    January 21, 2012 at 17:41

    • Yes, that is another of them! The same thing goes for “filling out a form”. Actually, we fill it in, right? 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 18:59

  272. Lynn

    Hello.I love your blog!!

    January 21, 2012 at 17:46

    • Hi Lynn, that’s good to hear! 🙂

      January 21, 2012 at 18:56

  273. Nice post.
    Think most languages has these kind of funny weird aspects. Like when we Danish people in Danish say that a person have “slept out” it means they’re fully rested. When a person have “slept in” in means… they’re dead.

    January 21, 2012 at 18:09

    • Wow. I should probably watch out not to tell a Danish person that I hope they can sleep in on Saturdays! 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 18:55

  274. UCT

    Nice Post… I too often think of such things in English with some pronunciations…good one…! 🙂

    January 21, 2012 at 19:03

    • Yes, English pronunciations are a subject for another post. Thanks!

      January 21, 2012 at 19:46

  275. Wordplay and art–great idea!

    January 21, 2012 at 19:04

    • Well, I like both and I couldn’t choose. So – both. 😉

      January 21, 2012 at 19:43

  276. Pingback: Palavra da semana em Ingles – Idiocy – Retardamento mental « Josivaldo's Blog

  277. Reblogged this on TheGame's Blog.

    January 21, 2012 at 22:02

    • Thank you for reblogging! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 00:29

  278. Interesting!
    I am interested because of your interesting post. And, you catch my interest. But, don’t catch me anyway.. ^_^

    January 21, 2012 at 22:29

    • No, I won’t try to catch you, but please leave your interest here! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:30

  279. Elana, you should try learning German if you want a more logical language. Believe you me, there is a logical meaning behind every word in their language!

    January 21, 2012 at 23:57

    • I considered doing German for a while, but eventually settled on French. Who knows, maybe that WILL be my next language! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 00:31

  280. Reblogged this on Challenged Community and commented:
    Awesome Read!!!! Couldn’t Stop myself from ReBlogging it…

    January 22, 2012 at 00:56

    • Thank you for reblogging!

      January 22, 2012 at 01:34

  281. haha – Pine + Apple lol.
    These drawings are very funny but if you sit and think about it. It’s so true and you are spot on.
    Great job Elana!!

    January 22, 2012 at 01:09

    • Glad you sat and thought about them!
      Thanks! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 01:36

  282. teemai

    I can totally related to this. Thanks for writing this piece 🙂

    January 22, 2012 at 02:34

    • Haha, I’m glad you can relate! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 18:15

  283. love this post! so cute and funny.

    January 22, 2012 at 02:47

    • That’s great to hear, thanks for commenting! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 18:17

  284. Andreas JR

    Dear Elana, like yourr cartoon, briliiant…deeply meaning n simple..really fun to know english language even sometimes silly and many confusing especialy people like me, which english isnt mother language. any way Great post n creativ minded

    January 22, 2012 at 02:47

    • Thanks for the comment and the compliment! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 18:18

  285. Hahaha, being an ESL teacher, I appreciate this greatly. There are so many times when I have to just explain “I know it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s how it is.”

    January 22, 2012 at 03:04

    • Wow, I’m just surprised at the amount of ESL teachers that have commented so far!
      That sounds very familiar! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 18:26

  286. theblissnet

    What a lovely blog, from a lovely writer. Fun and informative = winning combo! Thanks for putting this out there!

    P.S. I’ve started a wordpress photo-blog and was playing around with background images. Mine keeps getting repeated as a pattern, and I noticed that yours is just perfect. Could you tell me what size your original background image is in pixels and maybe where I can go to get more info on the technical side of setting-up a blog? Thank you very much far any info you can help me with!!

    January 22, 2012 at 03:36

    • Aww, thanks!
      Mine is srill the original that came with the theme, which probably explains why it is perfect! 😉 should help you though, sorry that I can’t.

      January 22, 2012 at 18:30

  287. PHWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!! This made me LOL! Brilliant!

    January 22, 2012 at 04:27

    • I’m happy to hear you think it’s brilliant! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 18:32

  288. I have to agree with you on every point. Being an English major, I am on the front lines of this barrage of confusion and ridiculousness. But I must say, being able to use these insanities effectively is a source of pleasure for me. Language is power, and since I live in a supposedly English-speaking country, it would be beneficial for me to wield this power.

    However, I did laugh a lot with this post. Congratulations!

    January 22, 2012 at 04:46

    • I’m an English major too, and I agreed with you! Ooh, it rhymes! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 18:33

  289. industriousrandomness

    Ha! funny! English has some interesting contradictions. I cannot believe we have been donating to humanitarian organizations! I thought that cannibalism was illegal.

    January 22, 2012 at 05:11

    • That it certainly does!
      I’m only surprised that the UN has not spotted this obvious clue yet! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 18:35

  290. eyeLaugh

    this was great! love your drawings

    January 22, 2012 at 05:19

    • I’m glad you like them!

      January 22, 2012 at 18:35

  291. Jessica

    Funny post – and the illustrations made it funnier (especially the sad little DESSERT)

    January 22, 2012 at 05:38

    • Aww, my poor little deserted dessert! *sniff* 😉
      Haha, thanks for commenting!

      January 22, 2012 at 18:36

  292. How true! The English language can really be confusing. Bear – Bare, Hare – Hair, Their – They’re, etc etc etc

    January 22, 2012 at 05:45

    • Glad you think so!
      Yes, exactly! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 17:54

  293. Beating Ennui

    Yeah English is kind of weird sometimes. There’s also mad as hell, but I think Hell would be one hell of a party though. I mean think about it why would Satan punish his peeps?

    Nice post.

    January 22, 2012 at 06:07

    • Maybe he likes it…? 😆

      January 22, 2012 at 17:53

  294. Nice post, i hope to see more, also would you mind visiting my site:

    January 22, 2012 at 06:10

    • Thanks!
      I don’t understand anything about your site, sorry! 😛

      January 22, 2012 at 17:52

  295. Only in English does the phrase “he/she is pretty ugly” make sense. The same idiom exists in German but it usually denotes something positive (as it would to any sensible person).

    Thanks for posting, I love thinking about this weird language stuff.

    January 22, 2012 at 08:40

    • Yes, that is true! Thanks for pointing it out!
      No problem!

      January 22, 2012 at 17:47

  296. “Union” is a labor group. “Onion” is pronounced like “UNion”! It is the beauty of intercultural linguistics over time. Kudos on being Pressed like freshly mowed grass!

    January 22, 2012 at 09:23

    • Yes, indeed! Haha!
      Thanks! 🙂

      January 22, 2012 at 17:10

  297. Ha ha ha! I’m an ESL teacher and I usually encounter problems explaining to my students some of the things you have mentioned in your post, especially the one about the pineapple. ^^

    January 22, 2012 at 12:42

    • It’s good to hear that other people think about these things as well! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 16:52

  298. elamlausnes

    Thank you for mentioning cargo.

    January 22, 2012 at 13:06

    • Well, that was no problem at all, my friend! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 16:39

  299. Pingback: “The Idiocy of the English Language” | 1curiouswolf

  300. Reblogged this on janezzz.

    January 22, 2012 at 14:42

    • Thank you for the reblog!

      January 22, 2012 at 16:38

    • Thank you for the reblog! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 16:39

  301. Pingback: 10 Classical Indianisms… « Chandra Teja U

  302. Reblogged this on Me & My GLASSES and commented:
    your Post are made my nite!!! LOL.. Keep post routinely!!!

    January 22, 2012 at 16:42

  303. Your post are really made my Nite!!! LOL.
    Keep posting routinely! :)))))

    January 22, 2012 at 16:44

    • That’s awesome to hear!
      I’ll try to comply! 😉

      January 22, 2012 at 18:38

  304. Clever. Witty. Fun. Love your cartoons.Thanks for sharing!

    January 22, 2012 at 16:46

    • Wow, thanks!
      It’s a pleasure! 😀

      January 22, 2012 at 18:39

  305. Very cute and clever. A nice smile to start the day!

    January 22, 2012 at 17:32

    • That’s great to hear! Thank you for the comment!

      January 22, 2012 at 18:06

  306. Pingback: English is a strange language (or some people call it idiotic) « Mata Satu

  307. Mike

    If the opposite of Pro is Con
    Does that mean Congress is against Progress?

    And if you want to hang someone or something, once it’s done you’ve hanged a person and hung a painting.

    January 22, 2012 at 18:43

    • I would not be at all surprised! 😉
      And that hang/hanged/hung thing is super annoying!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:32

  308. I freaking love it. 🙂 That’s exactly what I say-the whole “driveway/parkway” and the “dessert/desert”! 🙂

    January 22, 2012 at 19:28

    • That’s freakin’ awesome to hear! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 01:31

  309. ohh thank you Good for the Australians

    January 22, 2012 at 20:08

  310. Cute! Will share with my 10th grade after the exam (there are always a few minutes left)…maybe they can come up with a few more!

    January 22, 2012 at 20:24

    • You’re welcome! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 01:29

  311. Reblogged this on Mel Noir's Blog and commented:
    I think about this kind of stuff probably as much as the person who wrote this does. The English language is beautiful, but like a lot of beautiful people it doesn’t make a lot of sense sometimes.

    January 22, 2012 at 21:07

    • Thanks for the reblog! I’m happy to hear you think about it so much!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:28

  312. Max

    Great one!
    One of my pet peeves about the English language is that the present and past tense of read are spelled the same, yet sound different.

    “Did you read that? Yes I read it yesterday.”

    Really the past tense should be spelled red IMO.

    January 22, 2012 at 21:09

    • You have a point, but if it was spelled “red” then we probably would have gotten confused with the colour red. “Have you red the red book?” 😉
      Thanks for stopping by! 😀

      January 24, 2012 at 01:27

  313. sapphy03

    LOL, great observations pointed out especially the desert one 😛
    All languages have their own idiocies :p

    Kitchen Mixer Reviews

    January 22, 2012 at 21:25

    • I’m glad you think so!
      That is very true! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 01:25

  314. Very interesting, funny post! I enjoyed it a lot.

    January 22, 2012 at 21:26

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:24

  315. Reblogged this on brittanymartincic.

    January 22, 2012 at 23:24

    • Thanks for that! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 01:22

  316. Your piece, The Idiocy of the English Language reminds me of this little gem:

    (I can’t claim authorship — just loved it so much I posted to my poetry blog.)

    J.D. Suss

    January 22, 2012 at 23:58

    • Thank you for the link – I enjoyed reading it! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 01:20

  317. Reblogged this on Gealachs Blogg and commented:
    Lite roliga funderingar kring engelska knasigheter. 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 00:06

    • Thank you for the reblog and I’m glad you think so! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 01:19

  318. Reblogged this on emmastafford1 and commented:
    A little light reading on the serious subject of language…

    January 23, 2012 at 00:13

    • Thank you for the reblog and I’m glad to hear you think so! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 01:15

  319. Hey I like your style and talents your welcome to view my blog which except for the writer’s vault isn’t updated but once a month It’s more of a magazine based on a book I published. Everything is original my photos sketches paintings articles and poetry. It would mean alot to me if you check it out and leave comment especially Art & Words.
    Thanx miracaman.
    By the way even my avatar is a original sketch.

    January 23, 2012 at 02:12

    • Thank you so much!
      It’s a pretty avatar!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:11

  320. martyroxx

    hhahahaha this is a very clever kind of blog. I think it can be really useful for who really wants to learn English.. just like me!

    January 23, 2012 at 03:00

    • Hehe, I’m glad you think so!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:10

  321. I would like to display your poem ‘Let’s Face It. English Is a Stupid Language.’ in our school exhibition. I teach EFL in a rural school in eastern India. Your full name is Ilsanya Elana , I presume. I hope you have no objection.

    January 23, 2012 at 04:15

    • I did not write that poem, so I cannot give permission for the use of it. I have no idea who wrote it, though. All that I wrote was this blog post and I drew the cartoons. That is all that I own. The poem has been on the internet for so long now that I don’t know if anyone would object if you used it.
      And my name is not Ilsanya Elana. 😉 Elana is my first name, but I’m not giving my last over the internet.

      January 24, 2012 at 01:09

  322. loved your post!!!

    visit my blog for a good giggle as well:

    January 23, 2012 at 05:20

    • Thanks! I’ll try to remember!

      January 24, 2012 at 01:00

  323. LOL!! Greatness! Although the Pineapple does make a bit more sense to me now 😛

    January 23, 2012 at 05:47

    • Thanks! I’m hoping it makes a bit more sense to me too now!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:58

  324. If possible, I would like to display this entire essay on ‘The Idiocy of the English Language’ in our school exhibition scheduled to be held in May. Our kids will enjoy your wonderful cartoons. Please let me know if you have any objection.

    January 23, 2012 at 05:49

  325. Jeanne

    cute post! it’s one of the hardest things as a mom to explain to an inquisitve 5 year old the differences in so many words!!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 05:52

    • Wow, I can imagine how hard that must be! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 00:55

  326. This was an incredible read! I loved it!

    Congratulations on making freshly pressed!

    January 23, 2012 at 06:13

    • Wow, thank you!
      Thanks, it was a huge surprise! 😀

      January 24, 2012 at 00:53

  327. I loved this. Made me smile. Thanks.

    January 23, 2012 at 06:26

    • Thanks for stopping by! 😀

      January 24, 2012 at 00:53

  328. Reblogged this on Feathering the Empty Nest and commented:
    I wonder the same about the English language a lot…

    January 23, 2012 at 07:35

    • Thanks for the reblog! It’s good to hear that there are other people who think about the same things! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 00:52

  329. I just joined wordpress today and came upon your blog. It’s cute and funny 🙂 Also, on a complete side-note, I would happily live IN a dessert, if it were a chocolatey dessert. It might be sticky, but think how wonderful it would be. I would want to be able to go visit a pizza once in a while though- all that sweetness would be sickening otherwise 😛

    January 23, 2012 at 07:37

    • Haha, your comment made me laugh! 😆
      Thanks for stopping by!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:51

  330. great post. enjoyed the illustrations. I,m from India and English is widely spoken here and it acquires the sounds and nuances of the region and gets influenced by the local language creating even greater confusion and sometimes hilarious sounding sentences. for e.g in Gujarat(west India) ‘hall’ gets pronounced as ‘hole’ and the rest I’ll leave to your imagination (my house has a big hall where we can party)..:-)

    January 23, 2012 at 08:17

    • It is very true that so many dialects of English have developed by now that some of them can sound quite strange to those unused to it.
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:50

  331. Reblogged this on Salbro's Blogs and commented:
    This is a very humorous look at the English language. I just had to reblog it!

    January 23, 2012 at 08:45

    • Thanks for the reblog! Glad you enjoyed it that much!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:46

  332. You have captured the idiocy well. May sound difficult to believe, I have experienced the “humanitarian” misuse first-hand. In fact, I found it so funny that I have used it as an example in a short training programme I used to run. I have worked in Call Centres for many years and have built-up a fair repository of language bloomers. An example : saying “I am covering up for Neeta” which means “Neeta has goofed up and I am trying to do damage control” instead of “I am covering for Neeta” which means “Neeta is off sick today and I am standing in”. An interesting subject.

    January 23, 2012 at 09:39

    • Thank you! Hehe, that’s a funny anecdote, thanks for sharing! 😆 I always giggle about the “I’m sitting on the coach/couch” typo that I see so often. Big difference – the same with your example. 😀

      January 25, 2012 at 00:11

  333. carpalfingers

    Reblogged this on Atheist the Blogger.

    January 23, 2012 at 10:01

    • 🙂 Thank you.

      January 24, 2012 at 00:46

  334. How fun to read!
    Like your style.

    January 23, 2012 at 12:19

    • I’m glad! And thank you!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:45

  335. Great post! I’ve been studying in China for the last four years and never really get a chance to talk freely in English. I’m glad I picked up English easily as a kid. I can imagine how hard it must be for some to learn with all these rules that seem to make no sense.

    I was thinking I looked fly until I saw a fly sitting on my fly

    that’s my little contribution 😛

    January 23, 2012 at 12:50

    • Yeah, the best way to learn it is in practise, rather than to try and memorize rules.
      Hehe, thanks!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:44

  336. Reblogged this on .

    January 23, 2012 at 13:17

  337. I can’t stop chortling, You’re quite an observant and drafted it in a very nice way 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 13:21

    • Thanks, I’m glad I made you chortle!
      Also, thank you for the reblog! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 00:41

  338. You seem to be confusing English and the Microsoft invention “American English”. Only Americans call it a “parkway”. We English call it a road 😉

    Not that I’m defending the language, it’s full of strange words and meanings like the others you mention!

    I hate Halloween – I can’t tell which witch is which!

    January 23, 2012 at 13:37

    • Unfortunately that is still English. And people still use expressions like that, however silly they sound to the rest of us!
      And I call it a road too, by the way. 😉
      You could always try using some witch-hazel to identify those witches – which, incidentally, has no connotation with witches! 😆

      January 24, 2012 at 00:30

  339. Haha, thank you for an hilarious post! Humanitarian… haha!

    January 23, 2012 at 14:18

    • Hehe, glad you liked it that much!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:24

  340. Nice post, It made me laugh. I’ve found other idocies in my experiences too. Just with things around the house mostly. A hot water heater. Why would we heat water that is already hot?

    If you’re disabled or pregnant at an air port you get to “pre-board” the plane. How do you board the plane before you board the plane?


    January 23, 2012 at 14:43

    • Yes, it should just be called a water heater if things made sense like that! But they don’t… 😉
      I’ve never thought about “pre-board” that way before, but thanks for opening my eyes! Hehe. 😆

      January 24, 2012 at 00:23

  341. Wow! This is the first post I’ve ever read on wordpress…and I loved it 🙂 I’ve just started my own blog up after reading yours.I was reading your blog on my phone so I couldn’t see your theme…but after creating my own account from my laptop and coming back to yours, I’ve realized that we have the same theme…such a big coincidence 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 14:44

    • Haha, thanks for the lovely comment! I hope you have a good impression of WordPress now! 😉
      What a coincidence! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 00:21

  342. Very interesting blog. I have one for you that I composed when we lived in Quebec. When francophones thought they were getting on well in English, I asked them to read this little rhyme:

    It’s rough enough through the slough, though the boughs are falling down
    but we ought to take thought and bring a plough to plow a trough
    in which the water can be caught.

    It kept them humble. 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 15:27

    • I just tried to pronounce it (of course I would). Phew… stumbled badly over my own tongue there! Especially the first line. Haha, thanks for sharing! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 00:19

  343. cute stuff!

    January 23, 2012 at 16:23

    • Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 00:17

  344. Reblogged this on bellaaulya.

    January 23, 2012 at 16:43

    • Thanks for the reblog, bellaaulya!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:17

  345. This is cute! Yes, it is crazy how some things are. My children and I discuss these differences often.

    Great post!

    January 23, 2012 at 16:55

    • Thanks for stopping by! Yes, it is crazy! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 00:16

  346. With regards to the “hot as Hell” and “cold as Hell” … it has to do with Dante’s INFERNO where he describes the many different levels found in Hell. It’s kind of like a high-rise for evil doers. 😉

    January 23, 2012 at 16:58

    • Well, I wouldn’t say that it HAS to have something to do with the Inferno. I don’t know if anyone has done any research to see if these sayings originated before, after or at the same time as Dante’s writing. It could just as easily be the influence from another culture, or perhaps one of those untraceable things that sometimes pop up in languages.

      January 24, 2012 at 00:16

  347. sansblg

    Your post is awe-some! I agree with you: English is one of the most weirdest languages ever! 😉

    January 23, 2012 at 17:12

    • That is awesome to hear! 😉 And it is also weird that we should not use the expression “most weirdest” but use it anyway! 😉

      January 24, 2012 at 00:03

  348. Great Post. Thanks for sharing

    January 23, 2012 at 17:35

    • Thanks for commenting, Melissa! 🙂

      January 25, 2012 at 00:06

  349. Good stuff, Elana. Rant and rage against it, love it–that’s our lot with the English language. And those of us were not born into it know all this so well.

    January 23, 2012 at 17:47

    • Yes – exactly! Now I finally know how to explain how I feel about it! Thanks Taline! 😀

      January 23, 2012 at 23:37

  350. Awesome! 🙂

    January 23, 2012 at 18:10

    • Yay! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      January 23, 2012 at 23:33

  351. Very interesting post. I enjoyed it. “Cold as hell” was my favorite.

    January 23, 2012 at 18:15

    • Thanks for letting me know! 🙂

      January 23, 2012 at 23:38

  352. Wow this was so cute just started researching blogs last month yours is the best thus far well done!

    January 23, 2012 at 18:38

    • Wow, thanks for the compliment and stopping by! 🙂

      January 23, 2012 at 23:31

  353. srinivasan

    good one indeed; cartoons are excellent… whether ” I saw a saw to saw a tree ?” fit here

    January 23, 2012 at 18:40

    • Thanks! Haha, thanks for sharing that one! 😆

      January 23, 2012 at 23:17

  354. Reblogged this on naydanielle and commented:
    Hehehe so true..

    January 23, 2012 at 19:27

    • Thanks for the reblog! Glad you thought so!

      January 23, 2012 at 22:55

  355. That is soo true…and funny! I loved it! Please write some more I’d looovvveee to see some more! Keep up the great work!

    PS: Visit my awesome blog at!!


    January 23, 2012 at 19:31

    • I’m glad you thought so! Wow, hope I won’t disappoint you! 😉

      January 23, 2012 at 22:53

  356. Well after having two cars totaled in my driveway, by others driving there… I have decided that not everyone is clear on the concept of parking in driveways! Try explaining to your insurance company how your car or in my case 2 cars were totaled while parked in my driveway? Hehe!

    Although I have often wondered when I go to the City, why freeways are called freeways when no-one is hardly moving from the amount of traffic.

    Hey since you are a writer, I just want to let you know that we are sponsoring a writing contest for charity, on my other blog at

    Peace and harmony

    January 23, 2012 at 20:38

    • Maybe you had better sit those people down and explain to them the subtleties of the English language! 😉
      Yes, the freeway is hardly “free”…

      January 23, 2012 at 21:18

  357. Reblogged this on Annette's Little World and commented:
    I have pondered some of the same phrases

    January 23, 2012 at 20:54

    • Thanks for the reblog and I’m glad to hear someone else has also pondered this! 🙂

      January 23, 2012 at 21:14

  358. Great points on the oddities of English language. I believe these oddities make our language fun and add extra levels of precision to our speech. Just look at all of the nouns we have turned into verbs. Just using the names of body parts we’ve created a whole new world of verbs. We can eye a new car, toe a line, elbow our way through a crowd, nose around the office, stomach a gross situation, and many more. How we evolve our language is very silly indeed.

    January 23, 2012 at 22:25

    • Yes, it does indeed make it more fun – especially to try and learn it! 😉
      Be careful that I do not give you the cold shoulder! 😉
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 24, 2012 at 00:33

  359. Steppinwolf

    A plan for the improvement of spelling in the English language (by Mark Twain)

    For example, in Year 1 that useless letter “c” would be dropped to be replased either by “k” or “s”, and likewise “x” would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which “c” would be retained would be the “ch” formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform “w” spelling, so that “which” and “one” would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish “y” replasing it with “i” and iear 4 might fiks the “g/j” anomali wonse and for all.

    Generally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeiniing voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez “c”, “y” and “x”— bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez —tu riplais “ch”, “sh”, and “th” rispektivili.

    Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.

    I grabbed this from Yeah, dot-gov! Ha! ha! I think they have their work cut out for them.

    Always thought this was a bit “idiotic” as well 🙂

    Raise – to build up a thing
    Raze – to tear down a thing
    Rays – light or radiance from a thing….so what exactly are we up too?

    January 24, 2012 at 03:34

  360. Pingback: What makes a blog post good? | Discordant Diversions

  361. Shiney

    Reblogged this on The Life of Shinke and commented:
    Just read this and thought…this is why I’m glad English is my first language. Lol! Enjoy! 🙂

    January 24, 2012 at 05:54

    • Thanks for the reblog, Shiney!

      January 24, 2012 at 23:39

  362. ….why “put” is not pat (like cut ) and Cut is not poot (like Put)……….Ahhhhhhhh……English

    January 24, 2012 at 06:24

    • Good question! You can only put it down to “English”! 😉

      January 25, 2012 at 00:04

  363. Liz

    This is awesome, and so true! I love the inconsistencies of languages, they fascinate me. Thanks for highlighting some!

    January 24, 2012 at 07:25

    • They fascinate me too! Thank YOU for commenting! 😉

      January 25, 2012 at 00:03

  364. Nice. Very very nice. What a great blog, so glad I found it.

    January 24, 2012 at 16:37

    • Thank you for the lovely comment, James! 🙂

      January 24, 2012 at 23:38

  365. batasa81

    xixixii…it’s very funny language. thanks for sharing, if u don’t mind, i want to share this article to my friends, is it OK?

    January 25, 2012 at 11:25

    • It’s totally fine if you want to share, as long as you don’t take away my credit as author and pretend it’s your own. But you won’t, will you? 😉

      January 26, 2012 at 01:10

      • batasa81

        of course not, thank u…

        January 26, 2012 at 12:05

  366. Julian

    We must polish the Polish furniture.
    He could lead if he would get the lead out.
    The farm was used to produce produce.
    The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
    The soldier decided to desert in the desert.
    This was a good time to present the present.
    A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
    When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
    I did not object to the object.
    The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
    The bandage was wound around the wound.
    There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
    They were too close to the door to close it.
    The buck does funny things when the does are present.
    They sent a sewer down to stitch the tear in the sewer line.
    To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
    The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
    After a number of injections my jaw got number.
    Upon seeing the tear in my clothes I shed a tear.
    I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
    How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
    I read it once and will read it again
    I learned much from this learned treatise.
    I was content to note the content of the message.
    The Blessed Virgin blessed her. Blessed her richly.
    It’s a bit wicked to over-trim a short wicked candle.
    If he will absent himself we mark him absent.
    I incline toward bypassing the incline.

    January 25, 2012 at 17:05

    • Yes… Just when you think you’ve mastered it all, along comes the emphasis to prove you wrong! 😉
      Thanks for posting this!

      January 26, 2012 at 01:06

  367. Rai

    This is awesome. Sometimes I say something, and then I stop and am like, “What the fuck?”

    January 27, 2012 at 04:15

    • Yes, I get moments like that too.
      Thanks for commenting!

      January 27, 2012 at 19:39

  368. Reblogged this on mercimercyme and commented:
    This is good, or done well, I think, I thought, I thought?

    January 29, 2012 at 01:14

    • Hehe, thanks for the reblog! 🙂

      January 29, 2012 at 14:53

  369. Reblogged this on Sincerely Me and commented:
    and if the plural of mouse is mice.. and louse is lice.. what’s the plural of house? =D

    January 29, 2012 at 09:32

    • Hice, of course! 😉 Thanks for the reblog!

      January 29, 2012 at 14:49

  370. good blog ! and good observation !

    January 30, 2012 at 10:33

    • Thank you, Pavankarwa. 🙂

      January 30, 2012 at 19:11

  371. Reblogged this on PARADAISU (:.

    February 2, 2012 at 18:50

    • Thanks for the reblog, Durwin Lee! 🙂

      February 2, 2012 at 20:53

  372. Great post! You’ve only hit the tip the proverbial iceburg *wink wink*. After having taken Spanish and Latin in High School, I am convinced that English could be diagnosed with several mental illnesses if it were a person. And when you take into account the differences between, say, American, British, and Aussie versions of English, it becomes even more ridiculous. Keep up the good work!

    February 29, 2012 at 19:07

    • Hehehe, yep! 😆
      What with the 500million people in the world who speak English, there are so many different versions that I don’t even… 😉

      February 29, 2012 at 22:21

  373. awesome comments !! and the illustrations are even better!!! 🙂
    great post!

    July 11, 2012 at 07:53

    • I’m glad you think so!
      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

      July 20, 2012 at 23:08

  374. Pingback: Jan. 14 – Standard English: What it Isn’t | Educ 311 Reader Responses

  375. Pingback: E: English is a stupid language «

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