Why English Can Make Us Crazy

My son came home for the weekend and brought along a list of reasons the English language is hard to learn.  It’s especially applicable to the spoken language, but has deep resonances for written work as well since our writing practice is so keenly linked to our ears and the sound words make as they slip off the tongue and onto the page.  His copy was dog-eared from being passed around and screen-grabbed, so I thought I’d clean it up and pass it along again.  I salute whoever it was that pulled this together.

The Unknown Compiler’s List of Reasons English Can Make Us Crazy

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.

2) The farm was used to produce produce.

3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.

4) We must polish the Polish silverware.

5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.

6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.

7) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.

8) When shot, the dove dove into the bushes.

9) I did not object since I was the object of his affections.

10) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.

11) The oarsmen had a row about how to row.

12) We were too close to the door to close it.

13) A buck does funny things when does are present.

14) The farmer taught his sow to sow as his mother sat sewing in the window.

15) The wind was strong enough to wind the sheet around the mast.

16) After a number of injections, my jaw got number.

17) I shed a tear, I fear, after seeing the tear in the painting.

18) How can I intimate my feelings to my most intimate friend?