Funny Facts

Heard any good language-related jokes, stories or puns lately?
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Re: Funny Facts

Postby choc_pud » Wed 09 Jan 2013 10:18 pm

That's really funny! And clever. But some of those, particularly about food, are only a problem for americans. Over here an "eggplant" is an aubergine; "English Muffins" were invented in England, but we call them crumpets. Also I believe that hamburgers are called hamburgers because they were invented in Hamburg. Or something.

Great poem!

Þu forstanden myccel gód Ængliscum!
Du forstår mal godt dansk!
Du verstehest sehr gut Deutsch!
Vous comprendez très bonne, la français!
Вы знат очынь хорошо па-Русский!
Folchen þeo meor goð Sursðk!
Du farstanden rijt gut Norslandich!

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Re: Funny Facts

Postby Anoran » Thu 10 Jan 2013 3:33 am

Reminds me of An Ode to the English Plural:

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a 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?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and there would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let's face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in
eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
English muffins weren't invented in England. 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?
Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of
them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English
should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?
We ship by truck but send cargo by ship...
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
in which your house can burn up as it burns down,
in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and
in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

The author is supposedly Richard Lederer, though I can't find any solid proof of that.

choc_pud wrote:"English Muffins" were invented in England, but we call them crumpets.

I'm pretty sure Crumpets and English Muffins are two different things. Both were created by the Brits, though, and English Muffins are referred to just as "Muffins" in England.
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Re: Funny Facts

Postby ConnorRobertM » Sat 12 Jan 2013 6:37 pm

The English language is so puzzling. Also, yeah, English muffins are like dense rolls. Aren't crumpets like scones?
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Re: Funny Facts

Postby linguoboy » Sat 12 Jan 2013 9:58 pm

ConnorRobertM wrote:The English language is so puzzling. Also, yeah, English muffins are like dense rolls. Aren't crumpets like scones?

Crumpets are like crumpets; I don't think they are much like either English muffins or scones (either British-style scones or the sweeter softer American-style). They're cooked in a griddle, making them essentially a sort of pancake, only with yeast for leavening rather than eggs. (Scottish crumpets are made with eggs, making them basically identically to American pancakes.)

English-style muffins are simply called "muffins" in England; American-style muffins are essentially unfrosted cupcakes (a.k.a. "fairy cakes" in the UK).

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Re: Funny Facts

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Sun 13 Jan 2013 7:48 pm

A better description of the American use of "muffin" would be a quick bread in cupcake form, usually made with less sweetener than in a cake batter. (Of course, there are also chocolate and chocolate chip muffins in the American repertoire, but these tend to be less sweet than the equivalent cupcakes.)

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