Whenever I travel in a country where the first language is other than English, I get all kinds of frustrated questions from discouraged people stumbling through English. “Bah!” they exclaim. “It’s a crazy language!”
Well, yes it is. And thanks to my Canadian friend Ian Bennett, I have a great example of what causes such distress among English-as-a–second-language speakers. Here’s some of what he put together :
- The bandage was wound around the wound.
- Polish the Polish furniture.He could lead if he would get the lead out.
- The soldier in the desert decided to desert.
- It is time to present the present.
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bush.
- I did not object to the object.
- The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
- I was too close to the door to close it.
- To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
- The wind was too strong to wind the crank.
- After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
- Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
- A buck does funny things when does are present.
Scratching your head? Me too!
So how about you? Do you have some examples to add to Ian’s list?
“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the word you first thought of.”