Boy! - English is a Difficult Language… - [website] Email Print
Published: 22nd of Mar 2017 by: Carolyn Kessler

If you aren't an English first language speaker it becomes even tougher when you are producing business correspondence, minutes etc., because English is the universal language of business.

We often have delegates at our Minute Taking or Business Writing workshops who are having to write in their second and sometimes third language.

It amazes me at how competent South Africans in general are at picking up languages. Here’s a wonderful poem which highlights the fact that in English, as soon as a rule is learnt, you have to start learning the exceptions!

Author unknown

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes.

But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,

Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,

Yet 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?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,

And I give you 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?

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