The English Language Continued.

My fellow Friday blogger Shackman has this to offer as comments on my earlier post The English Language.

“I have been told that English is one of the toughest languages to master because of all this insanity–LOL.”

I couldn’t agree more. Imagine how difficult it must be for foreigners shifting to the USA or the UK to come to grip with the language! Like this good man Ismo from Iceland.

Sports In Our Lives.

After you read this post, you will come to the conclusion that I am a rare specimen.

Like all young children I too played a lot of sports during my school days but was not good enough in any to get selected for any school team. I was also reasonably good at field and track events but again not good enough to get into the school team.

After I grew up I played club cricket and also hard court tennis but other than occasional good performances was not good enough to get noticed. I also played golf with a reasonably good handicap till my hips gave way and since then have restricted my sports activities to be an occasional spectator. I am not very interested or passionate about any sport and so do not get worked up like many of friends do with cricket or football. It is enough that I read about great tournaments every morning in my newspapers.

I however have relatives and family who are passionate followers of games and they keep sending me WhatsApp messages on all kinds of information about sports to which I do not respond at all.

So, sports hardly plays any significant role in my life now. I can’t therefore understand how others can work their blood pressures up following cricket and football!

I have suggested this topic for this week’s 2 on 1 blog where Shackman and I write on the same topic. Please do go over to Shackman’s blog to see what he has to say on this topic.

The English Language.

Padmum who holds a Master’s Degree in English and has taught English to college students has sent this absolutely stunning information.

The Rule of Ablaut Reduplication.

Why `tock-tick’ does not sound right to your ears.

Ever wondered why we say :

tick-tock, not tock-tick,
or ding-dong,
not dong ding;
King Kong,
not Kong King…?

Turns out it is one of the unwritten rules of English that native speakers know without knowing.

The rule, explains a BBC article, is:

“If there are three words then the order has to go…
I, A, O.

If there are two words then the first is I and the second is either A or O.”

hilly-shally ,
King Kong,

There’s another unwritten rule at work in the name Little Red Riding Hood, says the article.

“Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order:

Opinion – Size – Age -Shape – Colour -Origin – Material -Purpose – Noun.

So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife.

But if you mess with that word order in the slightest… you’ll sound like a maniac.“

That explains why we say “little green men“ not “green little men,“

But “Big Bad Wolf “ sounds like a gross violation of the “opinion (bad)-size (big) noun (wolf)“ order.

It won’t, though, if you recall the first rule about the I-A-O order…!!
Got it..?

That rule seems inviolable:

“All four of a horse’s feet make exactly the same sound.

But we always, always say clip-clop, never clop-clip!


The inability to do something that we so take for granted, smile, can cause untold problems. This was not something that I had given any thought to and I am willing to bet that none of my readers would have either.

My cousin Shankar knows exactly what would trigger something in me and sent me this story about the smile and how its absence can affect normal life. I wouldn’t like to be in the shoes of someone who cannot smile. Would you?

And before I close with a nice musical touch that I am sure will be appreciated by Shackman, I remember the number of times that I have been told to “Wipe that smile off your face

Which of course leads me to this great all time favourite song the visuals for which are particularly endearing.