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Why Doesn’t Buick Rhyme with Quick? January 14, 2009

Posted by lyndastucky in Communication.

There are English oddities that we Americans accept as normal since we grew up with them. But to a foreigner, it makes English sound strange and whacky.  Our language is filled with unique words and phrases that often seem inconsistent to a non-native speaker.  Here are just a few crazy examples of oddities in the English language that came to my Inbox from an unknown author. (If you know where it comes from, please let me know.)

 If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth “beeth”?

 If you have a bunch of odds and ends, and get rid of all but one, is the one left an odd or an end?

 If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers “praught”?

 Why do we ship things by truck and send cargo by ship?

 How can a “slim chance” and a “fat chance” mean the same thing, while a “wise man” and a “wise guy” are opposites?

 Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

 A house can burn up as you watch it burn down.

 A form is filled in by filling it out.

 An alarm goes off by turning on.

With such confusing phrases, no wonder English is difficult to master! If English is not your native language, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you are unclear of the meaning of something. In fact, that’s good advice for everyone. 

What are some of the instances of confusion you have experienced?



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