Ambiguities, idiosyncrasies of language a cause for laughter, consternationPeople new in our country and learning English tell me that English is very difficult to learn. One of their problems appears to be ambiguities and idiosyncrasies.
By: Bernie Hughes, Superior Telegram
People new in our country and learning English tell me that English is very difficult to learn. One of their problems appears to be ambiguities and idiosyncrasies. You can see the problem a person new to our country would have with the following headlines:
Drunk gets nine months in violin case
Grandmother of eight makes hole in one
They do illustrate ambiguities and idiosyncrasies. If you cared to Google “contract law,” you would be able to find a great number. It isn’t difficult to see how many lawyers and court personnel have some difficult work to handle as they reconcile such contract language.
The other day, I was emailed a bunch of them and decided to share a few. Easy to see that these would be difficult if you were taking a test and obligated to explain them:
If man evolved from apes and monkeys, why do we still have apes and monkeys?
If I ask a bookstore sales person where the self-help section is, will they tell me that would defeat their purpose?
Why are public toilets locked? Are they afraid someone will come in and clean them?
If a turtle has no shell are they homeless or naked?
If the police arrest a mute, do they advise them that they have the right to remain silent?
How do they get deer to cross at the yellow road signs?
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
What was the best thing before sliced bread?
Egotists are very good about not talking about other people.
Can an atheist get insured against “Acts of God?”
How is it possible to have a civil war?
If you are trying to fail and succeed, what have you done?
Why are there signs for “Guide Dogs Only”? Dogs can’t read and their owners are blind.
Why are hemorrhoids called that instead of asteroids?
You very likely have seen others that are welcome cause for humor, but evidently illustrate the problem?
People trying to learn English as quickly as possible, find such humor an unnecessary problem.
It’s easy to understand why this causes a good deal of unnecessarily difficult learning for those new to the United States.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at bernie3024@