Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Why English is hard to LURN

Kate, a woman who I met while I was a member of the Naperville Chamber of Commerce, wrote a children’s book titled, “The Gnome, The Gnat, and the Gnu”.

Her book was inspired by a poem that Shel Silverstein had incorporated into his third book, titled, “Falling Up”. (You CAN find “Falling Up” on Amazon, but you’d have to go to a Naperville book store to find Kate’s book.)

Silverstein’s poem, in its entirety, goes like this:

I saw an ol’ gnome

Take a gknock at a gnat

Who was nibbling the gnose of his gnu

I said, “Gnasty gnome,

Gnow stop doing that.

That gnat ain’t done gnothing to you.”

He nodded his gnarled ol’ head and said,

“Til gnow I gnever gnew

That gnocking a gnat

In the gnoodle like that

Was gnot a gnice thing to do”.

The Hmongs in Hminnesota have their silent “h”

Just as the gnome has his silent “g”

The English language is FULL of oddities

That can perplex you and me

In “The Silence of the Lambs”

Not even a Starling was hurt

But coal miners are in trouble

If their canary doesn’t blurt

Men aren’t mean

If their “a” goes to sea

And I DOUT if you’ll miss

The wandering “b”

There is a SIENCE about words

As you can plainly see

And the world won’t end

If we leave out a “c”

Let’s meet next WENZDAY

Over biscuits and tea

And discuss what happened

To our missing “d”

A slice of pie

And a cup of tea

May explain the absence

Of the sound of the “e”

Let’s all take a poll

(and let’s include Jeff)

To learn why Phone

Starts out like an “f”

Honor needs no “h”

To make one feel smug

But a hug without an “h”

Can only be an “ugh”

Let’s SEEZE the moment

And ask ourselves why

That “e” still sounds like “e”

If we add an “i”

Let’s not jump to conclusions

About the letter “j”

Until we get an opinion

From our old friend Jose

NOCK on wood

And come what may

But don’t waste time

Looking for the “k”

Why does the “l” go away

When it winds up in “talk”

But is plainly heard

When we put it in “talc”?

Why does hymn sound like him

If we include an “n”

And why does sign rhyme with mine

If a “g” goes in ?

Shouldn’t that be a sin?

Why does SCURGE rhyme with splurge

If we plug in on “o”

And why does RECEIT rhyme with repeat

If we get a “p” to go ?

I won’t get any FLAQ

If I don’t pick on “q”

I’ve got a PLAK on my wall

And I won’t KWIT until I’m through

“R” and “s” are always there

But don’t MENSHUN “t”

Because it just wouldn’t be fair

“U” changes sounds

If you add a letter

So “put” becomes “putt”

But it doesn’t make it better

“V” is for victory

And for that we will vie

But a REN doesn’t need a ‘w”

In order to fly


Without using a “x”

Y is a vowel, but maybe not

And that is something that will always vex

So with the SINE of Zorro

Let’s get to the point

English ain’t EAZEE

So let’s get outta this joint

If you are still not convinced that English is difficult to learn, the link below will help you to understand:

more crazy English phrases

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