Monday Musings – Why English is Hard to Learn

Monday – July 1, 2013

While English is not the most widely spoken language in the world (Mandarin  is), it has become a most common language, especially as used in global communications and, particularly, business.

I am assuming that someday an immigration law will be passed in this country (do I hope for too much?) I also anticipate that it will include some form of a learning English requirement as a path to citizenship ( is this expecting too much?)  And while learning English as a second language (“ESL”) is already becoming a dominant course in many public schools, with passage of a law I would expect ESL to become a high growth commercial business:  materials for learning, materials for teaching, night classes, grammar and vocabulary primers, etc.  Immigrants should want to learn.  But the rest of us should show some tolerance while they do because it is not as easy as one might think. The example below demonstrates some reasons why English is hard to learn.

1. The bandage was wound around the wound.

2. The farm was used to produce produce.

3. The dump was so full 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. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.

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

8. A bass was painted on the side 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 over which way to row.

13. The buck does funny things when does are present.

14. They were too close to the door to close it.

15. A sewer and a seamstress tripped over a sewer pipe.

16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17.  The wind was too strong to wind down the sail.

18. After a number of injections my jaw got number.

19. After seeing the tear in my blouse I shed a tear.

20. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.

21. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?


For those of you who can get all this in a one minute read, the problem of learning English is probably only minute.  Get it?  It is also why Spellcheck is no substitute for diligent proofreading.


Thanks for stopping by – VS.






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