Oddities of the English language?

Howardh

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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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DaleCooper

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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?
Customer: Have you got something for a headache?

Chemist: Here's a hammer.
 

TrafficEng

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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?
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.
 

Howardh

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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.
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*.
 

EM2

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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.
 

Howardh

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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.
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....
 

DaleCooper

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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.
We had a question on this in the General Knowledge Quiz a while back.
Next question:

All these words share an unusual attribute, what is it?

Cleave
Dust
Let
Overlook
Sanction
Screen
They are auto-antonyms
 

Busaholic

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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.)
 
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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".
 

PeterC

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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".
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".
 

PeterC

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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".
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.
 

Cowley

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

scotrail158713

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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.
 

duncanp

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Isn't that because the clothing item is pluralised in the same way we have pants, shorts and trousers?
In French, these items are singular, eg:-

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

Scone - do you say it to rhyme with cone or to rhyme with gone?
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.
 

eastwestdivide

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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,
 

Dibuzz

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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.
 

Bayum

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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.
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.
 

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