As a teacher, I occasionally am forced to answer questions about the absolute idiosyncrasies of the English language, like “Why can patient mean a sick person in a hospital and to wait calmly, yet not be spelled differently, or have different pronunciations?” or “How come sheep is a non-pluralized noun, but not goat?”
When I have to answer these things, I am often reminded of several good poems, such as:
However, my old favorite is positively delightful: The History of English in Ten Minutes is a short animation chronicling the evolution of English, from its Anglo-Saxon roots to modern day LOL speak. A very entertaining watch!
“Where did the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ come from? And when did scientists finally get round to naming sexual body parts? Voiced by Clive Anderson, this entertaining romp through ‘The History of English’ squeezes 1600 years of history into 10 one-minute bites, uncovering the sources of English words and phrases from Shakespeare and the King James Bible to America and the Internet. Bursting with fascinating facts, the series looks at how English grew from a small tongue into a major global language before reflecting on the future of English in the 21st century.” – The Open University
Have a look at the video below:
What are some of the odd things about English that you love/hate?