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The English Language
Author Unknown


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 mouse should never be meese;

You may find a lone mouse or a whole nest of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice;

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
And the plural of vow is vows, not vine,

And if I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you 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 singularís this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss be nicknamed keese?

Then one may be that, and three would be those.
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren;

Then masculine pronouns are he, his, and him,
But imagine the feminine, she, shis, and shim.

So the English, I think, you all will agree,
Is the most wonderful language you ever did see.

This poem is in the public domain.

There are many, many versions of this poem to be found and, occasionally, youíll see a name associated with it, but the general consensus is that the author is unknown. This version originally appeared sometime between 1899 and 1902 in the British publication, Penny Pictorial Magazine.

Post New Comment:
Love it. Great choice.
Posted 12/07/2022 10:34 PM
What a great poem! Randy Mazie
Posted 12/07/2022 05:42 PM
Larry Schug:
I second that emotion!
Posted 12/07/2022 12:39 PM
Clever and fun!!!
Posted 12/07/2022 11:32 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Was it Noel Coward who said something like "England and America, two countries separated by a common language."
Posted 12/07/2022 10:35 AM
Love this!!
Posted 12/07/2022 10:16 AM
If I have right, in the Netflix version, one of the Royals, perhaps Prince Charles, refers to the language as the countrys greatest export. Like my adopted brother Darrell, I have little to compare it to. Linguistics is at the top of the long list of things I only wish Id studied.
Posted 12/07/2022 10:03 AM
ring, rang, rung/bring, brang, brung
Posted 12/07/2022 09:04 AM
Stephen Anderson:
A little bit of humor that we all need nowadays, right? Cheers to the author. Whoever he or she was!
Posted 12/07/2022 09:01 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Lots of fun. Word play, in English, the only language I can speak, is always entertaining and fun for me.
Posted 12/07/2022 08:39 AM
Joan Luther:
Thank you, Jayne! A joyful way to start the day!
Posted 12/07/2022 07:50 AM
My five-year-old grandson speaks fluent English, French, and Spanish. He says English is a crazy language. I agree with him. Hemu Aggarwal, Petaluma, Ca.
Posted 12/07/2022 05:53 AM

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