Deserting dessert in the desert - Tucson Local Media: Editorials

Deserting dessert in the desert

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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:00 pm

If you’ve learned to speak fluent English and are comfortable and competent writing it, you may be brilliant. There are a few other languages that also offer substantial challenges for would-be learners, but English is far and away the most convoluted form of communication in North America and could make a good run for the World title of “contradictory words and terms.”

If you think I’m exaggerating, then take a look at the sentence structure examples I found during a recent Google search. Many of them could stump a neophyte student and probably cause a good percentage of lifelong English users to shake their heads as well.

1) The medic made sure the bandage was wound around the wound.

2) As a kid I learned that the family farm was used to produce produce.

3) The garbage dump was full and had to refuse the refuse.

4) If you polish the Polish furniture it will shine.

5) If you’re going to lead, then you’d better get the lead out.

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

7) There’s no time like the present to present the present.

8) The artist painted a bass on the head of the bass drum.

9) The dove dove into the bushes when the hunters fired shots.

10) At an auction you may object to the object offered for bid.

11) Some insurance policies are invalid for the invalid.

12) I witnessed a row among the oarsmen about the proper way to row.

13) It’s possible to stand too close to the door to close it.

14) A buck does peculiar things when the does are present.

15) The garment sewer dropped the needle into a sewer line.

16) I watched a cartoon in which the farmer taught his sow to sow.

17) Midway through the race the wind became too strong to wind the sail.

18) The dentist made a number of injections to make my jaw number.

19) When I saw the tear in my new shirt I shed a tear.

20) My job is to subject the subject to a series of subjective tests.

21) It’s difficult to intimate the news to my most intimate friend.

And finally, a fine is a tax for doing wrong, but tax is a fine for doing fine.

After reading through the above list, it becomes apparent that English wasn’t quite as straightforward as our elementary teachers worked so diligently making us believe. In fact, the more I think about those classes, I’m beginning to wonder if the countless number of sentence diagrams we created were of any value to us at all.

Assuming that you were comfortable with each of these examples reflecting the way our language can be constructed into seemingly senseless sentences, then you may find the Spanish, Czechoslovakian and Chinese languages to be more straightforward learning experiences.

For now, I’ll stick with English since there seems to be a lot of discoveries yet to be made during my use of it. And I just had an idea; I’ve always wanted to write a song, so maybe I’ll do that and record a record.

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