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English is a tricky language December 1, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — doures57 @ 1:23 am


Here is a poem that I was reading in my CKA class the other day that explains the tricks of the English language…


Let’s begin with box; the plural is boxes;

But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes.

Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose can never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot 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?

A cow in the plural may be cows or kine,

But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.

I speak of a foot, you show me your feet,

But if I wear 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?

If the singular is this and the plural is these,

Why shouldn’t the plural of kiss be kese?

One may be that, and three may be those,

Yet the plural of hat would never be hose;

We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,

But though we say mother, we never say methren.

The masculine pronouns are he, his, and him,

But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!


So English, I think you all must agree,

Is the trickiest language you eve did see.

And I take it that you already know

Of tough and bough and cough and dough?

Others may stumble, but I’m sure not you,

On hiccough, thorough, slough, and through?

Confusing isn’t it? And now, perhaps

You would like to learn of less familiar traps?

Beware of heard, a dreadful word

That looks like beard and sounds like bird.

And dead is said like bed, not bead;

For goodness sake, don’t call it deed!

Watch out for meat and great and threat,

(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt)

A moth is not a moth as in mother.

Nor both in bother, broth, or brother.

And here is not a match for there.

And dear and fear for bear and pear.

And then there’s does and rose and lose-

Just look them up- and goose and choose.

And cork and work and card and ward,

And font and front and word and sword.

And do and go and thwart and cart.

Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,

I’d learn to speak it when I was five.


This poem just got me thinking of what a big job us Early Childhood teachers have ahead of us. It is our job to teach students a language that does not make any logical sense. I guess that it can be done though considering all of us have learned


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