How’s Your English?

In most of the US the summer means a vacation from school.  Maybe you’ve heard students chanting, ” no more homework, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks!”

So, in the spirit of summer, let’s have a some fun with a silly poem that’s been around for years, although it’s author is unknown.  It shows how difficult the English language can be to master.

How’s Your English?

We’ll begin with box; the plural is boxes,

But the plural of ox should be oxen not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of mouse should never be meece.

You may find a live mouse or a whole nest of mice,

But 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 a foot and you show me two feet,

And I give you a boot*, would a pair be called beet?

If one is a tooth and whole set are teeth,

Why shouldn’t the plural of booth* be called beeth?

If the singular’s this, and the plural is these,

Should the plural of kiss* ever be written keese?

And one would be that, and two would be those;

Yet hat* in the plural would never be hose;

and the plural of cat is cats, and not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then masculine pronouns are he, his, and him;

But imagine the feminine*, she, shis and shim?

So English, I think we all must agree,

Is the funniest language we ever did see!


*correct English words:

pan-pans, boot-boots, booth-booths, kiss-kisses, hat-hats, feminine pronouns-she, her, hers

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