Oddities of the English language?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Howardh, 8 Jan 2020.

  1. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Sat here dying a slow death from man-flu, popped into the chemist and asked "have you anything for a heavy cold?" In other languages you would ask for something *against* what you have, to make it go away, not give you it! Also I get an annual jab *for* flu.
    Any other examples?
     
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  3. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Customer: Have you got something for a headache?

    Chemist: Here's a hammer.
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    Do we have any linguists here who can confirm this? (@Oscar @Amanda ?)
    Which languages are you thinking of?
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
  5. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    German and Dutch.
    Heb u iets tegen...greip
     
  6. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    Surely they aren't oddities, but cases of missing out words that make the sentence "proper" English?

    "have you anything for treating a heavy cold?"
    "I get an annual jab *for* protection against flu"

    I can sense your English teacher giving you 100 lines "I must not lazily miss words out of my sentences". ;)

    Hope you feel better soon.
     
  7. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Thanks, I've stopped dribbling now I'm in the pub! There's correct English and there's commonly spoken English...
    In Lancashire we ask "what's going on?" and in Yaarkshire its "what's going off?", basically replacing *happening*.
     
  8. EM2

    EM2 Established Member

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    Two that have always intrigued me:

    You can fill in a form, but you can also fill it out.

    When you dust, you remove a powdery substance. But when you add a powdery substance (for example, icing sugar onto a cake) you also dust.
     
  9. Howardh

    Howardh Established Member

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    Wouldn't the correct term for the form be *complete* but we shorten it?

    We catch a train, we take a taxi. We neither catch nor take....
     
  10. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    We had a question on this in the General Knowledge Quiz a while back.
    They are auto-antonyms
     
  11. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Words often have multiple meanings so we do catch and take.
     
  12. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    'Have you got insurance for your car?'
    'No, I've got insurance against my car' (having an accident, being stolen, etc etc.)
     
  13. startingaparty

    startingaparty Member

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    Irregularities like the past tense of "ring" being "rang" but for "bring" it is "brought". The plural of "mouse" is "mice" but for "house" it's "houses".
     
  14. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    That reminds me that I was once read that "children" is actually a double plural as the plural form of "childer" which is the correct, if obsolete, plural of "child".
     
  15. PeterC

    PeterC Established Member

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    What about the plural of "hose". The clothes shop will have a selection of hose (plural) to wear on your legs but the garden centre will have a selection of hoses.
     
  16. Cowley

    Cowley Established Member

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    Ah I’ve got this Peter.
    It’s because the first one is hosiery.
    And the second one is hosey reels...
     
  17. TrafficEng

    TrafficEng Member

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    Isn't that because the clothing item is pluralised in the same way we have pants, shorts and trousers?
     
  18. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    This came about from people making footwear out of old rubber tubing - probably.
     
  19. Geezertronic

    Geezertronic Established Member

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    Scone - do you say it to rhyme with cone or to rhyme with gone? :)
     
  20. scotrail158713

    scotrail158713 Member

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    I find it funny seeing things that are written to rhyme, such as in poems/songs, but don’t rhyme if I say it in my Scottish accent. Can’t think of an example but if I think of one I’ll post it.
     
  21. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    Just to be awkward I say it to rhyme with done.
     
  22. Calthrop

    Calthrop Established Member

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    And at all costs, let's not get into ceremonial stones associated with abbeys near Perth...
     
  23. scotrail158713

    scotrail158713 Member

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    Gone. I didn’t know there was another way to pronounce it. :D
     
  24. duncanp

    duncanp Member

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    In French, these items are singular, eg:-

    Un calecon = a pair of underpants
    Un pantalon = a pair of trousers

    And in Scotland the stone of Scone is pronounced Scoon.

    These differences appear in other languages such as Italian, where the word Bruschetta is pronounced Brushetta in some parts of the country, and Brusketta in other parts of the country.
     
  25. eastwestdivide

    eastwestdivide Established Member

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    In 'standard/schoolbook' Italian it would be pronounced Brusketta: in standard Italian, C (whether double or single) is pronounced soft like an English 'ch' if followed by an i or an e, and hard like an English 'k' if followed by 'a' 'o' 'u' or 'h' (or another consonant). Similarly for G, soft if followed by 'i' or 'e' as in the English word 'gin', hard otherwise, like English 'get'.
    Now the pronunciation test: cappuccino, chiacchierare, Gennaro, ghiacciaia, Giacomo,
     
  26. Busaholic

    Busaholic Established Member

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    Perhaps you live in Donethorpe? :lol;
     
  27. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    My sister-in-law was adamanet (as a child) that singular form of "clothes" should be a "clo" .
     
  28. Dibuzz

    Dibuzz Member

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    If geese is the plural of goose shouldn't a single sheep be a shoop?

    Waiting for or waiting on a bus?
    When people say they are waiting on a bus I always picture them sitting on top of it.
     
  29. DaleCooper

    DaleCooper Established Member

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    ...and if the past tense of "Give" is "Gave" then the past tense of "Dive" should be "Dave".
     
  30. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

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    Goose and geese is an interesting. Way back in the old Germanic languages, the way the pluralised form was identified through declension was the changing of the two vowels. Same reason why we get foot/feet, mouse/louse mice/lice.


    My favourite at the moment is ‘fishes’. ‘We went to the aquarium where they had lots of fishes’. Fishes is used to refer to a group of fish where there may be more than one species.
     
  31. ABB125

    ABB125 Member

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    A house can burn up and burn down simultaneously.
     

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