My creative juices were not flowing this week when I needed to write my article for you. Then I had a question from a friend of mine about the strange things that happen in English — rules have exceptions, spelling is not always as we would predict it and some words have more than one meaning.
I know, things get very confusing at times, even for those of us who have been speaking the language for most of our lives.
Then I remembered my English teacher from my sixth year at school (this would be in 1984 — yes, I am old). She was a very classy lady, who spoke beautiful English even though it was her second language. She always told us that the rules are important but so are the exceptions. She compared it to life: those of us who are not the «norm» or «rule» in life sometimes are a bit more difficult to understand but we still make humanity a lot more interesting.
She gave us this poem to remember some of the exceptions and to laugh at the strange words that could have been if the rules were always followed.
Linguistic humor, The English lesson
We'll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
The rest of the poem you can find here.
Happy speaking, till next week!
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