We sometimes take English for granted, but if we examine its paradoxes we find that quicksand takes you down slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. There is no egg in the eggplant, no ham in the hamburger, and neither pine nor apple are in the pineapple. If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing?
If the plural of tooth is teeth, shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth? If the teacher taught, why didn’t the preacher praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what the heck does a humanitarian eat!? Why do people recite at a play, yet play at a recital?
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which a house can burn up as it burns down. When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why it is that when I wind up my watch it starts, but when I wind up this poem, it ends?”