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Posts Tagged ‘English’

Shakespearean Insult Kit

I wanted to post a really nice Easter story I'd received by email some time back, but when I did a web search, I found that I could use it only with special permission. I wrote the author for permission, but it has not yet come. If you'd like to read the story, you can do so at http://www.cresourcei.org/jegg.html where it is posted with the author's permission. My link to this site is not an endorsement of everything else on the site.

I ran across something in my files the other day that I thought some of you might enjoy - a Shakespearean Insult Kit. Use it if you need fresh ideas for when boorish rubes intrude upon your serenity?

Ye Olde Official Shakespearean Insult Kit
(I've seen this attributed several times to Jerry Maguire, English teacher at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana.)

With this handy-dandy Shakespearean Insult Kit, you can have the spleen of The Bard at your disposal, with all his lexicographical command of vituperation.

To construct a Shakespearean insult, combine one word from each of the three columns below, and preface it with "Thou." To enjoy this fully, you really should try to say the Shakespearean insults out loud.

Thou unmuzzled beetle-headed ratsbane!
Thou surly tickle-brained measle!
Thou reeky hasty-witted bugbear!

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3














































































All's well here. *Lots* going on at this time! I've been in a "grading vortex" this week with many compositions and tests to grade. (Who makes these assignment sheets anyway?!) Yesterday we attended this year's Living Gallery with several neighbors who really enjoyed it. Tomorrow morning is our monthly Men for Missions breakfast at church. After that we have choir practice till noon for Sunday. Sunday we're having two identical services for Easter at our church, with lots of special music. Monday Becka and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary.

Our grandson is 4 weeks old today and is doing fine. Megan is feeling much better and would be feeling even better if she got a full night's sleep! 🙂 The other day I posted several new pictures of him (see the blog entry under this one). When I posted those, Becka wanted me to put out several pictures of our flowers out front. The pictures don't do them justice. They're really beautiful.


"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me." - unknown

=^..^= =^..^=

Wishing you a Blessed Easter! He is risen indeed!


Copywight 2007 Elmer Fudd. All wights wesewved.

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The English Lesson

We are reminded daily here of how difficult and inexplicable our "Engrish" language really is. I can hardly imagine having to learn English as a foreign language. What a task that would be! But I remind my students that their language is also no piece of rice cake either, and I demonstrate at least some of the difficulties when attempting to say some of the few things I know in their language. Suffice it to say, my students are mildly to wildly amused at my feeble attempts in Chinese. I hope they can not only see the reverse problem, but also have more confidence to make mistakes themselves instead of sitting quietly by.

Today's iv is a poem that points out only a few of the anomalies of the English language.

The English Lesson
attributed to Richard Krogh

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,
When couldn'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?
If the singular is this and plural is these,
Why shouldn't the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese?

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.

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 in brother.
And here is not a match for there.
And dear and fear for bear and pear.

And then there's dose 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, then thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.
A dreadful language? Why, man alive,
I'd learned to talk it when I was five,

And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn't learned it at fifty-five!


Our classes are going fine, and our social lives are quite active. We've been invited out to dinner every night this week except Wednesday by students or others here whom we have gotten to know. And dinner engagements for next week have already begun, with Monday already planned.

My wife Becka started getting a cold the other day, and she is sure that it has now gone into a sinus infection. She had brought along a prescription of antibiotic that her doctor back home gave her before the trip, and so she has begun to take that medication. I have completed my Chinese medicine. Phew! I really do feel much better now, and I'm especially happy to have finished the medicine!


"One day every knee will bow. Those who see things as they really are are on their knees now." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

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English or German?

Several times lately I've been in situations where people were having fun with "pseudo-German." As a French teacher and a former German teacher, I actually enjoy humor about the languages I love. One article I'm sending today pokes fun at English, and the other lampoons German - both are tongue-in-cheek.

The European Commission has announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the EU, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had room for improvement and has therefore accepted a five-year for phasing in of "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make sivil servants jump for joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of the "k", Which should klear up some konfusion and also keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f", making words like "fotograf" 20% shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of the silent "e" is disgrasful, and it should go away.

By the fourth yer, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and everivun vil find it ezi to understand ech ozer. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali com tru! Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German lik zey vunted us to in ze forst plas!


Germany to Phase Out German
by William Grim

For the sake of those who don't know German (and you don't really need to to catch most of the humor), You'll find a little "glossary" at the beginning of the article to unlock a couple of the otherwise hidden elements of humor. The author himself glossed some of the terms in the article. I also did one minor tweak to the wording to make it more appropriate to my clientel.

GLOSSARY-- (the translations within the story itself were made by the author, William Grim, and not by ivman, and are not all completely accurate)

Lappenhund = lap dog
Pferdeloskarriage = horseless carriage
Fragenschlager = question slinger

Berlin - Citing the success of the new Euro currency, the members of the German Bundestag have voted unanimously to phase out German and to adopt English as the new official language.

"Let's face it," said German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer. "German is one ugly language. I mean, the German word for butterfly is Schmetterling, for goodness sake. That sorta says it all."

Leading German businessmen, like Deutscheseisenbahngesellschaftdirigent (German Railroad Company director) Guenther Lappenhund, say the language changeover will save the Germany economy billions. "We spend all this money on dual-language signage and for dubbing movies," said Herr Lappenhund from his Hamburg office. "What a waste. Who wants to watch 'Hey, Dude, Where's My Car?' ('Achtung, Duede, Wo Ist Meine Pferdeloskarriage?') in German anyway?"

German mental health experts don't think that the loss of their native tongue will be any more traumatic than the change from the Deutschmark to the Euro, which most Germans took in stride. "It's not like Germans have much to be proud of," said Dr. Renate Steinheimer, chairperson of the Psychology Department of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. "You don't see swarms of young Germans painting themselves red, black and gold and running through Dachau chanting 'Ger-man-y!' over and over. You think Germany, you still think of ol' Schiklgruber and Sargeant Schultz of Hogan's Heroes. There hasn't been much positive news out of Germany since the Treaty of Westphalia ended the Thirty Year's War in 1648."

Although details of the changeover are still being finalized, the general plan appears to be a complete conversion to English by January 1, 2007 with a 20% reduction in German usage each year for the next five years. German words beginning with letters A to D are slated to be retired by January 1, 2003. A national party is scheduled for December 31, 2006 when at 11:59pm the entire country of Germany will yell out "zwischen" ("between") legally for the last time.

"It'll be kinda sad," said Bruenhilde Fragenschlager, a 10th grade student at the Hockenheimer Hochschule fuer Linguistik und Grammatik (Hockenheimer High School for Linguistics and Grammar), "But I understand the reasons for the change. Still, it's nice that "Gesundheit" and "Kindergarten" are going to be grandfathered in, but I guess that's because they're really English words now. Boy, the next time we start a war, I sure hope we wait to invade Russia until after we've defeated England."
by William Grim
© Copyright 2002


"The gray areas of life are the dwelling place of the defiled conscience." - Dr. Randy Jaeggli

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

Change is constant, and the most dangerous place to be is inside your own comfort zone.

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