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English For Virtual Dummies

In the midst of all the project deadlines, slowdowns, downturns, meltdowns, bailouts and other new terms added to the English lexicon, it might also make for spending some time to brush up on our good old Queen’s English.

There have been ample odes, paeans and white papers written about the longevity and competitive sustainable advantage that India as a nation has over China on the English language.  In order to extend this advantage, it just might be worth the while to send a note to China on the various versions and vagaries involved in mastering the English language.  So, a small compilation goes along…

Let’s ask the Chinese to explain the following:

  • There is no egg in eggplant, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
  • English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France.
  • 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?
  • You can make amends but not one amend?
  • If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
  • If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
  • You can Ship by truck and send cargo by ship.
  • You have noses that run and feet that smell.

Pure English can even go as follows:

  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce  produce .
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture.
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out.
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
  8. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
  9. I did not object to the object.
  10. They were too close to the door to close it.
  11. Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
  12. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

The King is Dead.  Long Live the King



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