English was never my cup of tea. English was hard to learn. Mathematics was always much easier. So, I studied math and became an engineer. The difficulty in learning English was its inconsistency in word rules. A short poem will illustrate my point:
Teachers teach and we are taught. Preachers preach, but we aren’t “praught.” Nurses nurse and we’re restored to health. Doctors only “practice” but get the wealth.
Lawyers “litigate” and would never “law.” Use strange words—parlance arcane to all. Veterinarians examine, diagnose, treat. Not once do they “vet” to heal the beast.
Yet Writers write English for readers to read. How folks know what they’re reading is Greek to me.
So, where is the reason or the logic behind the rules for English? Here’s another oddity. No logical or consistent rule applies for suffix derivative words either. Consider this: If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Humans? See what I’m talking about? By the way, those vegans are really a regimented bunch. They’re the Jewish Orthodox of vegetarians. On the surface they appear tougher than marine drill instructors. But they’re really just jelly beans—hard on the outside and softies on the inside. They’re actually compassionate—the most animal compassionate of all vegetarians. They neither eat nor wear anything that comes from animals. If English rules were as straight-forward as the vegan dietary rules, English would be far less confusing. But I digress; back to the vagaries of English. The #1 source of word confusion is this thing called “homonyms.” Homonyms are words spelled the same, but having different meanings or pronunciations. In math, this type of double identity snafu would never happen. In math, one symbol—often a Greek symbol—has only one meaning. What were the English rule makers thinking when they came up with homonyms? Were they sober when they invented homonym? Here are a few examples of double-identity words showing exactly why homonyms confuse me:
-The bird hunter shot at the dove that dove into the bushes. -The farmer will produce produce on the land. -The fisherman painted a bass on the head of the bass drum. -The deer hunter noticed that a buck does strange things when the does are present.
I hope you don’t object to the object of my abject confusion—the rules of English. So, at present, present me with no present for my expertise in English. But, I’m telling you for certain, English Ain’t Easy.