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English language nonsensical and anomalies

(49 Posts)
MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 19:20:48

I love the English language and finding rule breakers or anomalies, and feel sorry for anyone learning the language.
Some of the ones that make no sense -

Rough / cough / though - all a different sound!

Home / one / done

Any others?

BalloonSlayer Wed 13-Dec-17 19:38:34

There are a couple of words that mean the same if you put un- in front as they do without the -un.

Loose and stoned.

Unloose the hounds means the same as loose the hounds.

Unstoned dates are the same as stoned dates.


NatureAbhorsAHoover Wed 13-Dec-17 19:41:28

Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing.

MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 19:45:04

You can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you just be 'whelmed'?

MongerTruffle Wed 13-Dec-17 19:47:42

HopeClearwater Wed 13-Dec-17 19:48:48

There are no rules. That’s your problem. There are patterns. Not everything fits in the patterns.
Also, your title is grammatically incorrect, or at least, inconsistent wink

lostintranslocation Wed 13-Dec-17 19:49:30

You can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed, but can you just be 'whelmed'?

I think you can in Europe.

MongerTruffle Wed 13-Dec-17 19:52:00

The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was used to produce produce.
The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
Since there is no time like the present, he though it was time to present the present.
A bass was painted onthe head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object.

MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 19:55:35

HopeClearwater fwink

MongerTruffle - I applaud you!

MongerTruffle Wed 13-Dec-17 19:56:47

*on the

Fairyfellowsmasterstroke Wed 13-Dec-17 19:58:31

I hate the backward/forward in time concept.

As we travel through life and time we are all moving forward, so all time is ahead of us. Yet when we alter the date of an event and defer it for any period we say we are putting the event back for a period of time despite it actually being placed at a date which is more forward in our time. EG instead of a party being on the 1st of the month we might move it to the 5th and say we are putting it back a few days - but in time we are moving it forward!!!!!

And when we bring an event closer to our current date we don't say we are bringing it back in time (ie pulling it back from it's more advanced date). We say we are bringing it forward - surely we are actually bringing it back from it's future spot!!!!

I hope you've followed this and can get my drift!!!!

Sevendown Wed 13-Dec-17 19:58:57

There is no word for adult child.

Sevendown Wed 13-Dec-17 20:00:17

Sil/bil can mean your brothers wife or your husbands sister vv

GinsAndTonic Wed 13-Dec-17 20:00:42

The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert...

... for which he received his just deserts.

NatureAbhorsAHoover Wed 13-Dec-17 20:00:43

Ghoti spells ‘fish’

gh as in enough
o as in women
ti as in motion

Voila, ‘fish’ smile

MongerTruffle Wed 13-Dec-17 20:03:59


MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 20:04:08

fairy - I feel exactly the same, I have never found that a comfortable way of explaining time!

Nature - that is pure genius!

FadedRed Wed 13-Dec-17 20:11:35

English pronunciation test

While most of you non-native speakers of English speak English quite well, there is always room for improvement (of course, the same could be said for every person for any subject, but that is another matter). To that end, I'd like to offer you a poem. Once you've learned to correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world.
If you find it tough going, do not despair, you are not alone: Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ... until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.

English is tough stuff

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

(Apparently excerpted from The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité.)

abouttimeforanotherone Wed 13-Dec-17 20:12:16

Good point about time Fairy although all time as a dimension is relative isn't it? ( at least I think that's what I mean - you've got me confused now). Backwards is further away and forwards is closer to where we are at any given point.

Alight means to get off a train, and also to be on fire.

Unstoned dates aren't the same as stoned dates though, it wouldn't be 'un' it would be 'de'.

FadedRed Wed 13-Dec-17 20:13:30

Oops! I didn't mean to copy the first paragraph!
I hope no one is offended by it. blush

MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 20:19:44

FadedRed - phewwwwwfffff, my head is spinning!!!

justpoppngby Wed 13-Dec-17 20:32:15

How odd op @MissBax .. looking up whelmed, I found this quote on

"In another moment Bax was whelmed in spray and knee-deep in rushing water."
The Lifeboat

MissBax Wed 13-Dec-17 20:35:30

shock ahhhhh creepy!!!!

Janetjanetjanet Wed 13-Dec-17 20:36:31





FatherChewieLouie Wed 13-Dec-17 20:39:02

i before e, except when you run a feisty heist on a weird beige foreign neighbour.

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