Did you hear the one about...

Queer English - other oddities


Some other quirks found in modern English

Other puzzling questions

  • Why does a shipment go by car and a cargo go by ship?
  • Why does no word in the English language rhyme with month, orange, silver or purple?
  • Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside?
  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • Did you know that 'verb' is a noun?
  • If you've read a book, you can reread it. But wouldn't this also mean that you would have to member somebody in order to remember them?
  • Is there a shorter word for monosyllabic?
  • Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing?
  • Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
  • Why do people use the word irregardless?
  • Why do we say something is out of whack? What is a whack?
  • Why do we say something's out of order when it's broken but we never say in of order when it works?
  • Why does 'cleave' mean both split apart and stick together?
  • Why does 'slow down' and 'slow up' mean the same thing?
  • Why does flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?
  • Why doesn't onomatopoeia sound like what it is?
  • Why don't we say 'why' instead of 'how come'?
  • Why is 'Crazy man!' an insult, yet 'Crazy, man!' is a compliment?
  • Why are a wise man and wise guy opposites?
  • Why is it that we recite at a play and play at a recital?
  • Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person drives a race car not called a racist?
  • Why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham?
  • Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
  • Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?
  • Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?
  • If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
  • When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?
  • Why do English teachers insist that a double negative forms a positive? There ain't no logic to that.
    A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class one day.
    "In English," he said, "A double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative."
    A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah, right."
  • Why are there five syllables in the word monosyllabic?
    There was a young poet named Dan,
    Whose poetry never would scan.
    When told this was so,
    He said, "Yes, I know.
    It's because I try to put every possible syllable into that last line that I can."

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