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Fun Fridays – January 10, 2019 – Why English Is So Hard

Why English Is So Hard

It is fun to compile some of the idiosyncrasies and inconsistencies of the English language. Most are found around the internet, so I claim no originality. Some are sentences with homonyms, one is a list of homophones, and others are simply fun!

Do you have any to add? Comment below!

Hamburger has no ham.

When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

There is no pine or even apple in pineapple.

Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present to his girlfriend.

I take it you already know
of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
on hiccough, thorough, slough and through.

Vegetables are the main food of vegetarians, but do humanitarians eat something else?

A bandage is wound around a wound.

The door was too close to the table to close.

Taught is the past tense of teach; however, the past tense of preach is preached and not praught.

You decided to desert my dessert in the desert.

I did not object to the object which he showed me.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail around the mast.

The farm was cultivated to produce produce.

The dump was so full that the workers had to refuse more refuse.

We must polish the Polish furniture shown at the store.

He could lead if he could get the lead out.

A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

The dog I had had had quite a few health difficulties before I took it to the vet. [Yes, this is grammatically correct!]

The insurance was invalid for the invalid in his hospital bed.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

Upon seeing the tear in her painting, she shed a tear.

I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

The English words see and look mean the same thing, but oversee and overlook have different meanings.

Take a look at the different ways of emphasizing the sentence below:

– I sent him a letter – a plain statement.
– I sent him a letter – used to imply that you sent him the letter, someone else didn’t send it (or “you didn’t send it, I did”).
– I sent him a letter – this could imply “I sent him a letter, but I’m not sure he received it.”
– I sent him a letter – used to imply that you sent him the letter – you didn’t send it to someone else (perhaps even “you weren’t meant to read it”).
– I sent him a letter – you sent him a letter, not anything else.


  • two/to/too
  • they’re/there/their
  • team/teem
  • horse/hoarse
  • morning/mourning
  • ads/adds
  • baron/barren
  • see/sea
  • coward/cowered
  • crews/cruise
  • symbol/cymbal

“Inert” means (among other things) lacking any chemical reactions. However, there is no word “ert” to indicate the opposite.

“Inhibit” means to prevent or discourage from doing something. There is no word “hibit.”

If something is “inverted,” it’s upside down. However, if something is rightside up, it’s not called “verted.”

I suspect you have met a number of disgruntled people, but you’ve never met someone who could be called “gruntled.”

Awkward people can be described as “ungainly” or “inept,” but you’ve never heard someone described as “gainly” or “ept.”

Lead means to go in front of, or it’s a heavy metal used in car batteries.

Wind is a gust of air, or it’s what you do to an old clock.

Bass is the deep sound from your stereo or is a type of fish.

Sow is what farmers do with seeds in the spring, or it’s the mother of piglets.

Wound is an injury, but wound is what a clock is after you wind it.

A dove is a bird related to a pigeon, but dove is what you did at the pool last summer.

Close is what you are when you’re nearby, but close is what you do to the freezer door to keep the ice cream from melting.

A minute is 60 seconds, but something minute is very tiny.

A record is a vinyl disk containing your parent’s music, but record is what you do to your favorite TV show so you can watch it later.

Tear means to rip up, but a tear is what falls from your eye when you’re sad.

There are problems with plurality:

Usually, you add an “s” or perhaps and “es” to the end of the word to make it plural. For example, finger/fingers. With some words you replace the last letter (y) with an “ies” as in baby/babies.

Then we fall down the black hole of inconsistency. The plural of “child” is “children,” rather than “childs.” Next are the delightful words tooth/teeth, foot/feet, person/people, mouse/mice (but not house/hice), knife/knives, wife/wives, and goose/geese. See the poster below for more fun.

Pronounce and spell the following:

  • right/light/fight/flight/site/sight
  • cry/buy
  • taught/fought/bought/brought
  • neigh/sleigh/flay/spay
  • bread/read(reed)/read(red)

Change the second vowel to turn “woman” to “women,” but for some reason you pronounce the “o” differently.

And last is this fun poster found all over the internet:

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This Agent’s Look Back at 2019

2019 was quite a year for me. I suppose it was a year for nearly everyone who made it from January 1 to December 31. In my case, however, it was a year of much change, stress, and some success. The bulk of the change (and stress) involved a long-planned …

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A Year in Review: A Look at 2019

It’s that time of year to reflect on the past year, to learn from our experiences, and to count our blessings. Here are some thoughts on the last tumultuous twelve months. The Industry The publishing industry seems to survive the bad press that loves to find the negative in everything. …

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