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Tuesday, September 12, 2006


let's face it. english is a crazy language. there is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger, and neither apple nor pine is pineapple. english muffins did not hail from england nor did french fries from france.

and why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? if teachers taught, why don't preachers praught? and if dad is pop, how come mom isn't mop?

the plural of box is boxes, but the plural of ox is 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 men, shouldn't the plural of pan be pen? if i spoke 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 of are teeth, shouldn't the plural of booth be beeth?

we speak of a brother and also of brethen, but though we say mother, we never say methren. if the masculine pronouns are he, his and him, why aren't the feminine, she, shis and shim?

doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you can comb through the annals of history but not a single annal?

sometimes, i think all english speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. what other reasons could there be for saying that people recite at a play and play at a recital? or ship cargo by truck and send cargo by ship? or have noses that run and feet that smell?

how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy opposite? how can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? how can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? or met a sung hero or experienced requited love? have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? and where are all those people who are indeed spring chickens or who would actually hurt a fly?

you have to marvel at the unique lunancy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. english was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all).

that is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. and why when i wind up my watch, i start it, but when i wind up this essay, i end it.

hmm if u guys have read it, i apologise, hongwei

8:05 PM}

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