Tag Archives: English Humour

An owed too my spellchequer

(found via a mailing list I am on)

Eye have a spelling check her
That came with my pea sea:
It marks in plane four my revue
Miss steaks eye due knot sea.

Aye strike a key oar type a word
And weight for it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write;
It shows me strait a weigh.
As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long:

And eye can put the ere or rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.
Its own lee be cause u have Ben their
That u no watt eye am go in thru;

An witch of u can b sew sure
U won’t all so bee use zing it 2?
Eye ran this poem threw spell check

As eye am shore your pleased to no;
Its let her perfect awl the weigh
My check her tolled me sew.

(If it will come fort u, Yours ken dew it to! “No misspellings found. OK”)


I have not been lollygagging, certainly not.

My apologies for my absence, but I have been up to my eyebrows in University assignments, I just finished the final one for this semester, so now all I have to worry about is exams next month.

Simple, surely.

It would have gone much smoother if I had not, in the delightful words of the Online Etymology Dictionary which by the way is MY go to place when I am looking for the antecedents of a word or phrase, been dilly-dallying, or even shilly-shallying around.

Shilly-shally “vacillate,” 1703, earlier shill I, shall I (1700), fanciful reduplication of shall I? (cf. wishy-washy, dilly-dally, etc.).

Dilly-dally;¬† “Dilly-dally is from 1741, a reduplication of dally. c.1300, possibly from Anglo-Fr. dalier “to amuse oneself,” of uncertain origin.”

But to accuse me of lollygagging, certainly not.

Lollygag; “dawdle, dally,” 1862, lallygag, Amer.Eng., perhaps from dial. lolly “tongue” + gag “deceive, trick.”

So I shall dilly-dally, shilly-shally and lollygag my way out of here.


When one post a day isn’t nearly enough.

The Chaos

by Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité (1870-1946)

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it’s written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation’s OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation — think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won’t it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It’s a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough —
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!


Some English humour

The English Language

There is no egg in the eggplant,
No ham in the hamburger,
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England.
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted, but if we examine its paradoxes
we find that:
Quicksand takes you down slowly,
Boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea, nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing?
If the plural of tooth is teeth,
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth?
If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught?

Why do we call it a building
When it’s already been built?
Why do people recite at a play,
Yet play at a recital,
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways?
How can the weather be as hot as hell on one day
And as cold as hell on another?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language where a house can burn up as it burns down.
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out,
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by people, not computers,
And it reflects the creativity of the human race,
(Which of course isn’t a race at all).

That is why:
When the stars are out, they are visible,
But when the lights are out, they are invisible.
And why it is that when I wind up my watch,
It starts,
But when I wind up this poem,
It ends?

– Author Unknown

Isn’t the English language wonderful…