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Fun Poems about English

 
WHY ENGLISH IS SO HARD
 
We’ll begin with box, and the plural is boxes;
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice, 
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But the plural of vow is vows, not vine.
And I speak of a foot, and you show me your feet,
But I give a boot -- would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, 
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that, and three may be those,
Yet the plural of hat would never be hose.
We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
The masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis, and shim!
So our English, I think you will all agree,
Is the trickiest language you ever did see.


When the English tongue we speak
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
We say sew but likewise few;
And the maker of a verse 
Cannot cap his horse with worse?
Beard sounds not the same as heard;
Cord is different from word.
Cow is cow, but low is low;
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose and dose and lose;
And of goose and yet of choose.
Think of tomb and comb and bomb,
Doll and roll and home and some,
And since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said, I pray?
We have blood and food and good,
Mould is not rhymed with could,
Wherefore done but gone and lone.
Is there any reason known?
So in short it seems to me
Sounds and letters disagree.
 
 
This one deals with idioms

Lies

People always lie to me,
They never tell the truth.
To find out what they're telling me,
I have to be a sleuth.
My friend said he was sorry,
But I know his name is Ben,
And if my mom is in a pickle,
What am I in, then?
My dad is using Moose for Men,
My sister's eating kicks.
My brother's going out tonight
To go and pick up chicks.
A frog is in my brother's throat,
Our cat is in the bag,
I'm driving mother up the wall,
This party is a drag.
My grandpa must discover
The fountain of his youth.
See? People always lie to me.
They never tell the truth.
 
The Bottom Line Don't depend on a spell checker to choose the right word for you. Proofread, too!

MY SPELL CHECKER

I have a gnu spell checker; it came with my pea see.
It plane lee marks four my review miss steaks aye dew knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it, yore shore reel glad to no;
Its very polished in it’s weigh. My checker tolled me sew.

Each frays come posed up on my screen eye trust to be a joule.
The checker pores or every word to cheque sum spelling rule...
 
 
This page has a great list of homonyms, as well.  It also has a lot of great word games and fun things.  I highly recommend English junkies like myself check it out.
http://fun-with-words.com/nym_homonyms.html
 
An Ode to the Spelling Chequer
Prays the Lord for the spelling chequer
That came with our pea sea!
Mecca mistake and it puts you rite
Its so easy to ewes, you sea.
I never used to no, was it e before eye?
(Four sometimes its eye before e.)
But now I've discovered the quay to success
It's as simple as won, too, free!
Sew watt if you lose a letter or two,
The whirled won't come two an end!
Can't you sea? It's as plane as the knows on yore face
S. Chequer's my very best friend
I've always had trubble with letters that double
"Is it one or to S's?" I'd wine
But now, as I've tolled you this chequer is grate
And its hi thyme you got won, like mine.
                        Janet E. Byford
 
More word fun, same website as above.

An Oronym Story – Ladle Rat Rotten Hut

Even more impressive in length is the following oronym story. It is the tale of Little Red Riding Hood... but not the famous version; this one is constructed entirely from homophones: Ladle Rat Rotten Hut. This curious version was written in 1940 by a professor of French named H. L. Chace. He wanted to show his students that intonation is an integral part of the meaning of language. Try reading it out loud (best in the accent of Southern/Central USA)!
Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch offer lodge, dock, florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry putty ladle rat cluck wetter ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.
Wan moaning, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder inset. "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disk ladle basking tutor cordage offer groinmurder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! Dun stopper peck floors! Dun daily-doily inner florist, an yonder nor sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers!"
"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, an tickle ladle basking an stuttered oft. Honor wrote tutor cordage offer groin-murder, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut mitten anomalous woof. "Wail, wail, wail!" set disk wicket woof, "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut! Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"
"Armor goring tumor groin-murder's," reprisal ladle gull. "Grammar's seeking bet. Armor ticking arson burden barter an shirker cockles."
"O hoe! Heifer gnats woke," setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb shelf, "Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer groin-murder. Oil ketchup wetter letter, an den - O bore!"
Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court, an whinney retched a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner windrow, an sore debtor pore oil worming worse lion inner bet. En inner flesh, disk abdominal woof lipped honor bet, paunched honor pore oil worming, an garbled erupt. Den disk ratchet ammonol pot honor groin-murder's nut cup an gnat-gun, any curdled ope inner bet.
Inner ladle wile, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a raft attar cordage, an ranker dough ball. "Comb ink, sweat hard," setter wicket woof, disgracing is verse. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut entity betrum an stud buyer groin~murder's bet.
"O Grammar!" crater ladle gull historically, "Water bag icer gut! A nervous sausage bag ice!"
"Battered lucky chew whiff, sweat hard," setter bloat-Thursday woof, wetter wicket small honors phase.
"O Grammar, water bag noise! A nervous sore suture anomolous prognosis!"
"Battered small your whiff, doling," whiskered dole woof, ants mouse worse waddling.
"O Grammar, water bag mouser gut! A nervous sore suture bag mouse!"
Daze worry on-forger-nut ladle gull's lest warts. Oil offer sodden, caking offer carvers an sprinkling otter bet, disk hoard hoarded woof lipped own pore Ladle Rat Rotten Hut an garbled erupt.
Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.
Tea And

Sites for Idioms
 

Verbal Confusion

Wood you believe that I didn’t no
About homophones until too daze ago?
That day in hour class in groups of for,
We had to come up with won or more.

Mary new six; enough to pass,
But my ate homophones lead the class.
Then a thought ran threw my head,
“Urn a living from homophones,” it said.

I guess I just sat and staired into space.
My hole life seamed to fall into place.
Our school’s principle happened to come buy,
And asked about the look in my I.

“Sir,” said I as bowled as could bee,
“My future roll I clearly see.”
“Sun,” said he, “move write ahead,
Set sail on your coarse, Don’t be mislead.”

I herd that gnus with grate delight.
I will study homophones both day and knight.
For weaks and months, through thick oar thin,
I’ll pursue my goal. Eye no aisle win.

—George E. Coon
The Reading Teacher, April, 1976
 
 

Poem of English Pronunciation

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough?
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is give it up!
Gerard Nolst Trenité
 

Another Crazy Poem of English Pronunciation

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble but not you
On hiccough, thorough, slough and through.
Well done! And now you wish perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird.
And dead, it's said like bed, not bead-
for goodness' sake don't call it 'deed'!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(they rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth, or brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's doze and rose and lose-
Just look them up- and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart-
Come, I've hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I learned to speak it when I was five!
And yet to write it, the more I sigh,
I'll not learn how 'til the day I die.
Anonymous
 

Yet Another Crazy English Pronunciation Poem

Here is more pronunciation.
Ration never rhymes with nation,
Say prefer, but preferable,
Comfortable and vegetable.
B must not be heard in doubt,
Debt and dumb both leave it out.
In the words psychology,
Psychic, and psychiatry,
You must never sound the p.
Psychiatrist you call the man
Who cures the complex, if he can.
In architect chi is k
In arch it is the other way.
Please remember to say iron
So that it'll rhyme with lion.
Advertisers advertise,
Advertisements will put you wise.
Time when work is done is leisure,
Fill it up with useful pleasure.
Accidental, accident,
Sound the g in ignorant.
Relative, but relation,
Then say creature, but creation.
Say the a in gas quite short,
Bought remember rhymes with thwart,
Drought must always rhyme with bout,
In daughter leave the gh out.
Wear a boot upon your foot.
Root can never rhyme with soot.
In muscle, sc is s,
In muscular, it's sk, yes!
Choir must always rhyme with wire,
That again will rhyme with liar.
Then remember it's address.
With an accent like posses.
G in sign must silent be,
In signature, pronounce the g.
Please remember, say towards
Just as if it rhymed with boards.
Weight's like wait, but not like height.
Which should always rhyme with might.
Sew is just the same as so,
Tie a ribbon in a bow.
When You meet the queen you bow,
Which again must rhyme with how.
In perfect English make a start.
Learn this little rhyme by heart.
Anonymous (unless you know otherwise)
 
William Safire's "Fumblerules"
These sentences were created by William Safire to illustrate grammatical and stylistic mistakes. This may be the greatest grammar lesson you have ever had.
·         No sentence fragments.
·         Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
·         A writer must not shift your point of view.
·         Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.
·         Write all adverbial forms correct.
·         In their writing, everyone should make sure that their pronouns agree with its antecedent.
·         Use the semicolon properly, use it between complete but related thoughts; and not between an independent clause and a mere phrase.
·         Don’t use no double negatives.
·         Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
·         If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times: Resist hyperbole.
·         If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
·         Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
·         Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
·         Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
·         And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
·         The passive voice should never be used.
·         Writing carefully, dangling participles should be avoided.
·         Unless you are quoting other people’s exclamations, kill all exclamation points!!!
·         Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
·         Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
·         Use parallel structure when you write and in speaking.
·         You should just avoid confusing readers with misplaced modifiers.
·         Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences—such as those of ten or more words—to their antecedents.
·         Eschew dialect, irregardless.
·         Remember to never split an infinitive.
·         Take the bull by the hand and don’t mix metaphors.
·         Don’t verb nouns.
·         Always pick on the correct idiom.
·         Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
·         "Avoid overuse of ‘quotation "marks."’"
·         Never use prepositions to end a sentence with.
·         Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.
 
(More of the same)
 

Rools fr Riting

Here are some oxymoronic (self-contradictory) principles for good writing. Harold Evans, on page 182 of his 1972 book Newsman's English, attributes these "un-rules" to Helen Ferril of the Rocky Mountain News. 

  1. Don't use no double negative. 

  2. Make each pronoun agree with their antecedent. 

  3. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.

  4. About them sentence fragments. 

  5. When dangling, watch your participles. 

  6. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.

  7. Just between you and I, case is important too.

  8. Don't write run-on sentences they are hard to read.

  9. Don't use commas, which aren't necessary.

  10. Try to not ever split infinitives.

  11. It's important to use your apostrophe's correctly.

  12. Proofread your writing to see if you any words out.

  13. Correct spelling is esential.

Some of my favorite additions to this list are the following.

  • Eschew obfuscation. 

  • Don't abbrev.

  • The passive voice is to be avoided.

Homonyms: Spell Checker


Spell Checker

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques for my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As swoon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew