Tag Archives: English

Teacher’s pet, I was not:

There were two teachers who influenced me when I was at school. During my first year at High School, half way through the year, the art teacher made an aside that stayed with me. She made the comment that my work reminded her of her own when she was my age. It was just the one comment, but it remained with me, even all these years later. Her encouragement could have partly been responsible for me going to art school, when I left High School.

The second teacher whom I admired was Deputy Principal, or Deputy Head, as we knew her then, as well as being House Mistress. Miss Street was of the old school, very strict, proper and an English teacher. I wasn’t a scholar, and she apparently was going to take me under her wing, and give me some extra help. She had written in her diary that she was going to seek me out that fateful Tuesday afternoon, but as I had gone into town on a shopping expedition, I missed out.

That night Miss Street died in the bath, in the boarding house. It wasn’t until later I was informed of her diary entry. I felt devastated. Knowing she had faith in me gave me courage, and may have been the reason for me returning to university in my forties and becoming a teacher.

Miss Street was one of the many women left single after WW1. Her fiancé was killed in the war. So instead of her having her own family she passed on her love of Literature to most of her students.

Daily Prompt:

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her? Michelle W.


Heteronyms and Homographs for a bit of fun:

Homographs are words of like spelling but with more than one meaning. A homograph that is also pronounced differently is a heteronym.

You think English is easy??
I think a retired English teacher was bored… THIS IS GREAT!
Read all the way to the end…
This took a lot of work to put together!

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

9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.

10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

13) They were too close to the door to close it.

14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.

16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

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 or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are animal organs. 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? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? 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 English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
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.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

PS – Why doesn’t ‘Buick’ rhyme with ‘quick’?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this.

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is ‘UP.’
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP?
At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?
Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends.
And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.
We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.
A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.
We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can have UP to about thirty definitions.
If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.
It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.
When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so . . . it is time to for me to shut UP!


Language and inconsistencies:

      Ponder  on these imponderables for a  minute:-

1. If you take an  Oriental person and spin him around several times,
does he  become disoriented?

2. If people from Poland are called  Poles, why aren’t people from
Holland called Holes?

3.  Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy  adultery?

4. If a pig loses its voice, is it  disgruntled?

5. If love is blind, why is lingerie  so popular?

6. Why is the man who invests all your money  called a broker?

7. When cheese gets its picture taken,  what does it say?

8. Why is a person who plays the piano  called a pianist but a person
who drives a racing car not  called a racist?

9. Why are a wise man and a wise  guy opposites?

10. Why do overlook and oversee mean  opposite things?

11. Why isn’t the number 11 pronounced  onety one?

12. ‘I am’ is reportedly the shortest sentence  in the English language.

Could it be that ‘I do’ is the  longest sentence?

13. If lawyers are disbarred and  clergymen defrocked, doesn’t it follow
that electricians can  be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged,
models  deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners  depressed?

14. What hair colour do they put on the  driver’s license’s of bald men?

15. I thought about how  mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks  so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use?  Toothpicks?

16. Why do they put pictures of criminals  up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to  them? Why don’t they just put their pictures on the postage  stamps so the postmen can look for them while they deliver  the mail?

17. You never really learn to swear until  you learn to drive.

18. No one ever says, ‘It’s  only a game’ when their team is winning.

19. Ever wonder  about those people who spend £1.50 apiece on  those
little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian  backwards: NAIVE

20. Isn’t making a  smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section  in a swimming pool?

21. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER  from diarrhea , does that mean that one enjoys  it?

Lexophile & Paraprosdokians:

‘Lexophile’ is a word used to describe those that have a love for punning wordplay, such as ‘You can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish’, or ‘to write a broken pencil is pointless.’ A competition to see who can come up with the best lexphillies, (I can’t find this word in the dictionary), is supposedly held every year in an undisclosed location. This year’s winnning submission is posted at the very end.

-When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate.

-A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

-When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

-The batteries were given free of charge.

-A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.

-A will is a dead giveaway.

-With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

-A boiled egg is hard to beat.

-When you’ve seen one shopping centre you’ve seen a mall.

-Police were called to a day care centre where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

-Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He’s all right now.

-A bicycle can’t stand alone; it is two tired.

-When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

-The guy who fell on to an upholstery machine is now fully recovered.

-He had a photographic memory that was never developed.

-When she saw her first strand of grey hair she thought she’d dye.

-Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.

-And the cream of the wretched crop:

-Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently humorous. Winston Churchill loved them.

1. Where there’s a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it is still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agree with you, we’d both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says ,’In case of Emergency, Notify:’ I put ‘DOCTOR’.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.

12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not so sure.

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car.

16. You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I’m supposed to respect my elders, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one now.