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Spelling / Pronunciation
|CRAZY WORD OR EXPRESSION
Making sense of the heretofore
1(a) [Out-dated definition] a plant; herb.
[Nowadays, we say, "Plant"]
2(a) a plant which is grown for the edible parts.
2(b) [Modern English] the edible parts of
[Source: Merriam Webster's online dictionary]
1(a) a product of plant growth (as grain, vegetables, or cotton)
Example: "the fruits of the
1(b) (1) : the usually edible
(not always edible) reproductive body of a seed plant
(2) : a product of fertilization in a plant; specifically :
the ripened ovary of a seed plant
[Source: Merriam Webster's online dictionary]
Let's look at some examples:
Some fruits are vegetables (because they are edible).
However, some fruits are NOT vegetables (because they're not edible).
I have often had debates with people about whether a tomato
is a fruit or a vegetable. According to Merriam-Webster's
Dictionary, tomatoes are BOTH a fruit AND a vegetable.
|Strawberry is not
Tomatoes are fruits?!!!
Strawberries are NOT berries and Tomatoes ARE fruits! A berry has its seeds in the middle, surrounded by a
fleshy pulp. See the table below. A tomato is a berry and a strawberry is called an
'aggregate' fruit, because it come from multiple ovaries to make one
|Peanut is not a
It's not. It's a part of the root. True nuts are a kind of
fruit (the seed-bearing part of the plant)
|This is another "Latinglish"
word. In Latin, it means 'grass' [and that is 'grass' in the broad
sense, including all grain-bearing plants].
But, in English, it has quite a different meaning. Actually, it
has two meanings:
1. a plant with no woody tissue (this is quite
close to the Latin meaning, but, we don't use this meaning nowadays in
2. a plant valued for its medicinal, savory, or
aromatic qualities. (this is the common meaning used by
English-speakers these days).
Ironically, an "herbivore" is an herb-eating
creature (by the LATIN definition).
||This is another "Latinglish"
word. In Latin, it is a noun: 'planta' (sole) & a verb: 'plantare'
(to put one's sole on the floor/ground). In English, the verb has
the same meaning, but the noun... Well, it means:
the noun: plant =
(1) any growing
thing that has a cell wall and chlorophyll.
(2) any non-animal, growing thing,
growing out of the ground/soil.
(3) a factory (which
is planted/built on the ground)
I know what you are thinking:
"Where else would one build a factory?" I don't know...
in the sea perhaps, and even then, it might still be called a
'plant'. Who knows? English is a crazy language!
This is a case of polysemy. See my polysemy
page for more details.
||This is another confusing
word. It came to English from Latin 'imbarrare' -to-> French
embarasser -to-> English 'embarrass'. em =
"in", and "barra" = bar. Literally, it means
'to bar' or 'to put in bars', but it carries abstract meanings as well,
such as 'to hinder'. In Spanish (embarazar) also means to
In English, it only carries the abstract meaning
of-- making ((sb)) feel confused, mentally frustrated, and/or
Note: English has a lot of words
"borrowed" from Latin, but English has changed the meaning,
perhaps a case of verbicide.
||This is the craziest word I
have ever seen regarding meaning. A troop is a group of persons,
usually soldiers, and yet it is often used to represent one single
soldier. For example, "There are 37,000 US troops in
Korea" means "There are 37,000 US soldiers in Korea."
But, in the Boy Scouts of America, a troop is a groups
of scouts. Crazy English!
||We park a car on a driveway.
We drive a car on a parkway.
||"Take" means to
physically obtain something (usually something concrete, but can be
something abstract). And yet, it seems to lose its meaning in
various English idioms. See:
obtain concrete thing
obtain abstract thing
|take a photo
||take a break
||take a bow
|"give and take"
||take a chance
||take a dump
||take a "crack" at
||take a leak
||take one's time
||take a look
||take sb's stuff w/o permission
||take a smoke
||take a ride
||take a swim
||take a walk
||take a whiff
take (sb) in (accept someone into one's
take (sth) in (learn something)
take (sb) down (ruin sb's reputation)
take (sb) on (fight sb)
take (sb) out (make sb lose a fight; kill sb)
|If the plural of goose is
geese, why isn't the plural of moose meese?
|bow /bou/; n. a curve (like
rainbow, or bow & arrow)
bow /bou/; n. a kind of tie (bowtie)
bow /bau/; v. to bend at the waist for an audience at the end of a
performance; n. a bend at the waist
bow /bau/; n. the front part of a boat/ship
bow wow /bau wau/; sound of a dog
Crazy Spelling / Pronunciation
|(Usually pure English, but not
|short e sound
||long e sound
|/ et /
||/ ei /
||ballet (kind of dance)
||bouquet (bunch of flowers)
||crochet (kind of knitting)
||croquet (kind of game)
|/ u: /
||/ ju: /
|blew (past of blow)
||ewe (female sheep)
|flew (past of fly)
||few (not many)
|grew (past of grow)
||pew (a bench in church)
|/ i: /
||/ ei /
||/ ai /
||Finnish (adj) of Finland;
finish (v.) to complete (sth); /finish/
The Finnish person did finish the project.
||/ f /
||/ p /
What?!!!!! "o" sounds like "oo"??????
toe = /tou/
Tomb /tu:m/ Womb
Truly crazy pronunciation of English!
This is one of the craziest
words regarding pronunciation. I remember when I was in primary
school and I was learning how to spell. One day I was writing a
letter and I asked my mother how to spell "1". She said,
"O-N-E." I wrote it down, then I said, "Mom, come
on! Don't trick me, Mom." She said, "No, really, that's how
it is spelled." I asked, "Why?" She said that
she didn't know. I remember thinking, "That is stupid!"
Why? Well, to and too had already been taken, but
why not "tu"? I don't know. See my homophones
Why? Well, for had already been taken, but they could have
made a homonym. Why not? I don't know. See my homonyms
Crazy English Pronunciation!
||Polish (adj) of Poland;
polish (v.) to make (sth) shiny; /palish/
A Polish person can polish his/her shoes.
||sew = /sou/
|s / ss
||listen, castle, whistle, wrestle, fasten,
||cue /kyu/ = (1) a thing said or done to
signal somebody to do something
(2) a wooden rod for striking a ball in billiards or pool
queue /kyu/ = (1) a line of people; (2) to make a line of people
suede /sweid/ = rough cow hide (not smooth leather)
write, wrote, written
||Why is "warm"
pronounced like "worm" and why is "worm" pronounced
I think it is because "worm" was originally
spelt "wyrm", but I could be wrong.
||wind /wind/ = breeze, a gust
wind /waind/ = to turn something, usually something
which will turn back automatically