Ah, linguistics!

I’m not sure why I find linguistics and language so fascinating, but I do. I started reading Steven Pinker’s Words and Rules this morning and quickly discovered what the book was about. Quote from the preface:

This book tries to illuminate the nature of language and mind by choosing a single phenomenon and examining it from every angle imaginable. That phenomenon is regular and irregular verbs, the bane of every language student.

Yes, I am reading a 287 page book about verbs and how they are formed.

I’m sure some people have seen this before, but I hadn’t and so I simply have to quote it here as well. It’s from bit of comic verse by Richard Lederer called “Tense Times with Verbs”:

The verbs in English are a fright.
How can we learn to read and write?
Today we speak, but first we spoke;
Some faucets leak, but never loke.
Today we write, but first we wrote;
We bite our tongues, but never bote.
Each day I teach, for years I taught,
And preachers preach but never praught.
This tale I tell, this tale I told;
I smell the flowers, but never smold.
If knights still slay as once they slew,
Then do we play as once we plew?
If I still do as I once did,
Then do cows moo as they once mid?

For some reason, I get a kick out of that. Okay, lunchtime. Back to my book.