Having Fun with English


I before e

Thanks for the encouraging emails after my last post and for the suggestions that resulted in this one as a follow-up. The English language is so very difficult to learn it is amazing that we manage to communicate. Let me try to illustrate

There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple…

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?

If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

In what language can one have noses that run and feet that smell?

Quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce, and hammers don’t ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth?

The plural of man is always called men,  so shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet, and I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?Odd words

One may be that and three would be those,  yet hat in the plural wouldn’t be hose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say Mother, we never say Methren,

The masculine pronouns are he, his and him, but imagine the feminine she, shis and shim,

When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

Why does night fall but never break and day breaks but never falls? 

Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists

Hot dogs can be cold, darkrooms can be lit, homework can be done in school, nightmares can take place in broad daylight while morning sickness and daydreaming can take place at night, tomboys are girls and midwives can be men,

Why is it that a woman can man a station but a man can’t woman one?

In what other language do they call the third hand on the clock the second hand?

Why do we call them apartments when they’re all together?

Why do we call them buildings, when they’re already built?

We Spik Inglis

Why it is called a TV set when you get only one?

If adults commit adultery, do infants commit infantry?

If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from?

If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress?

Why can you call a woman a mouse but not a rat — a kitten but not a cat? Why is it that a woman can be a vision, but not a sight — unless your eyes hurt? Then she can be “a sight for sore eyes.”

If a firefighter fights fire, what does a freedom fighter fight?

If harmless actions are the opposite of harmful actions, why are shameful and shameless behaviour the same and pricey objects less expensive than priceless ones?

If you decide to be bad forever, you choose to be bad for good

A waiter. Why do they call those food servers waiters, when it’s the customers who do the waiting?

A non-stop flight. Never get on one of these. You’ll never get down.

A near miss. A near miss is, in reality, a collision.

A hot water heater. Who heats hot water?

It’s neither here nor there. Then where is it?

Extraordinary. If extra-fine means “even finer than fine” and extra-large “even larger than large,” why doesn’t extraordinary mean “even more ordinary than ordinary”? 

Put on your shoes and socks. This is an exceedingly difficult. Most of us put on our socks first, then our shoes.

Watch your head. I keep seeing this sign on low doorways, but I haven’t figured out how to follow the instructions. Trying to watch your head is like trying to bite your teeth.

Why  do six, seven, eight, and nine change to sixty, seventy, eighty, and ninety, but two, three, four, and five do not become twoty, threety, fourty, and fivety.

Finally here are some foreign notices

Take luggage of a foreigner



An advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:  TEETH EXTRACTED BY THE LATEST METHODISTS

Foreign Experts



I have no idea what this last sign means.

Any suggestions?

Thanks for reading and please do take a moment to look at our website.


God bless you,




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Funny places in England

Nothing serious today just a few things to hopefully make you smile. They made me smile

Two months ago we moved from Sussex to the delightful village of Seavington in Somerset. But when we first arrived I had great difficulty in shops, at the bank and chatting to people because nobody had ever heard of the village. I eventually discovered that even though it is spelt as Sea-ving-ton it is pronounced Seving-ton. Why? What happened to the ‘a’? I have no idea.

This morning I was driving Marilyn to a Physiotherapist appointment. Halfway between Ilminster and Chard we saw a village called Sea. The nearest coast must be at least 20 miles away so why is it called Sea? Again I have no idea.

This started me thinking about British town names. We certainly have some odd places.

How would you like to tell people that you live in Puddletown (formerly Piddletown)  a village in Dorset, 5 miles east of Dorchester in the Piddle River Valley

I can’t help wondering if it was named by someone who now lives in Crackpot, Swaledale, North Yorkshire.

Crackpot Town Sign


In Norfolk near to Walsingham there are a couple of villages one called Great Snoring and the other Little Snoring.

Sign to Great and Little Snoring

Here is a picture of the Great Snoring Church notice board. I was tickled by the section that says “Great Snoring Sunday Services” Not very encouraging. I feel sorry for the preacher.

Great Snoring Church

Could this in any way be related to the town situated near Grayshot in Hampshire which has the wonderful name Land of Nod.

Sign to Land of Nod

Ladies would you live in Ugley, near Bishop’s Stortford.

Ugley street sign

I suppose that is better than Pity Me, north of Durham.

Pity Me Sign

Recently the town of Dull in Scotland decided to twin with the Oregon town of Boring. So you can now officially be Dull and Boring.

Signs for Dull and Boring

I could name many other odd places but some official town names are frankly not suitable for this blog.

Ahh the joys of travel. I love exploring new places

By the way have you visited our web site? CLICK HERE

God bless you




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Role Models and Vacations

2 Pastors discuss vacations

I was sent the above a few days ago and it appealed to my rather odd sence of humour.

Sadly it contains more than a grain of truth. I have met many Christians who feel that they need to work 7 days a week and 365 days a year. They have the very best intentions. They want to serve God and do not want to waste time BUT I have to ask myself if, in the long run, they are actually very effective or indeed if they are really living  in God’s will.

God clearly told us that He rested on the 7th day. I have real difficulty in thinking that God was tired. He rested and by doing that showed that we too need to take a day each week to re-charge our batteries.

Psychological and medical research has clearly demonstrated that people who do not take a regular vacation are prone to more illnesses and are less efficient at work.

If you are interested here are links to just two such articles.

Relax! Vacations Are Good For Your

Health Take Back Vacation

One reason many people do not take a vacation is the cost. But remember Christian House Sitters can help make a dramatic reduction in the cost of your next vacation. We can help you find rent-free accommodation all over the world and we can arrange, if needed, for reliable Christians to look after your home and your pets while you are away again with no cost to you.

So have a look at the website. CLICK HERE

God bless you,


A Sign of Confusion

When my wife, Marilyn, was having medical tests before her recent surgery she needed an endoscopy.

As I sat in the waiting room I noticed this sign. It seemed a little discouraging to the patients but it got me thinking about odd and unhelpful signs.

For example would you really want to visit this Health Resort? Surely they could have found a better name.

I am sure that whoever designed this airport sign knew what they were trying to say. Pity the sign does not really help.

So we have confusing signs everywhere. Not all are the type that are painted and displayed. We have signs pointing to the popularity of politicians, signs relating to the state of the economy etc.

I am not an economist but from what I can understand most of the world is really bankrupt. Countries have massive debts and frankly no idea how these will ever be paid. The result is that prices keep going up and income either stays the same or is reduced. This creates tremendous pressure on families. It leaves many feeling rather like the following sign.

We know there is a right way to go but everybody is pointing us in different directions. This often happens as we think about a vacation. On the one side we know that we can’t afford it but on the other all the experts tell us that not having a good break will result in health problems. What do we do?

Christian House Sitters  (a ministry NOT a business) can help you!

If you are planning to go away we can arrange for someone to look after your house and your pets and it will not cost you anything. It is FREE.

If you would like to get away we have people all over the world who would be delighted to let you stay in their home RENT-FREE while they are on vacation and in return you will keep their home safe and care for their animals.

It is a genuine win-win situation. Why not look at our website CLICK HERE and find out more

God bless you,


Some Strange Canadian Laws

Over the past few weeks we have had two very different series running on this blog. Articles by well-known Christian authors suggesting some vacation reading and articles featuring odd laws from around the world.

Today we continue our Odd Laws and this time we are focusing on Canada.

Why are we looking at odd laws? Well really because I personally find them amusing and interesting but my official excuse is that with Christian House Sitters  you could end up having wonderful rent-free vacations all over the world so you need to be informed.

horseIn Quesnel, British Columbia you must not exercise in a manner that frightens a horse – without permission

You may have thought of moving to St. John’s Newfoundland to raise cows. If you are successful in your quest, remember not to drive your cattle through the streets of the city after 8:00 am. There is nothing to stop you from doing so before that time, however, as long as they are trained to obey traffic lights and stop signs.

In Nova Scotia a person is not allowed to water their grass when it’s raining. Not like someone would do this, but it’s against the law in Nova Scotia!

In Cobourg, Ontario if you have a water trough in your front yard, it must be filled by 5:00am!

In Ottawa, Ontario you are not allowed to eat ice cream on Bank St on a Sunday!Ice Cream

In Fort Qu’Appelle Quebec it is illegal for a teen to walk downtown main street with his shoes untied?

In London, Ontario it is against the city by-law to allow your grass in your front yard to grow any taller than an inch and a half. If you do, the city will come by and cut it for you then give you a fine for $200.

Alberta Provincial Laws state that it is illegal to set fire to the wooden leg of a wooden-legged man

LoveWhile in Wawa it is illegal to show public affection on Sunday.

In Montreal The Queen Elizabeth Hotel must feed your horse freely when you rent a room.

To find out more about how you can enjoy a rent-free vacation or have someone look after your home and pets free of charge while you are away please visit our website. www.Christian-housesitters.com

God bless you,


Parking an Elephant and other odd laws

My apologies for not posting anything this past week but we moved house and life has been chaotic. But I am back!

As I mentioned in my last post one of the joys of running Christian House Sitters is having contact with people from all over the world. But as our members travel around the world I thought it was time to introduce you to a few of the really strange laws from different countries.

This post will focus on some rather odd American Laws.


It is illegal for a driver to be blindfolded while operating a vehicle.


In Fairbanks it’s illegal to feed alcoholic beverages to a Moose.


donkey bathingDonkeys are not permitted to sleep in bathtubs.


If an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle.


It’s illegal to tie a giraffe to a telephone pole.giraffe


It is illegal to transport an ice cream cone in your pocket.


Biting someone with your natural teeth is “simple assault,” while biting someone with your false teeth is “aggravated assault.”


In Lehigh it’s illegal to sell donut holes.


lassoIt is illegal to use a lasso to catch a fish.


A law to reduce crime states: “It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intentions to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.

Over the next few weeks I will feature strange laws from other places so if you know any do send them to me.

Meanwhile remember if you want someone to look after your home and pets while you are away or if you would like a rent free vacation the place to look is our website. CLICK HERE

God bless you,


Priorities. (This is funny)

The folowing funny story was sent to me by a friend. Sorry I do not know who originally wrote it so I can’t give the author credit.gold chest

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him, “Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you.”

The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.

The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. Seeing the suitcase Peter says, “Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!”

But the man explains to him that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough,. Peter checks and comes back saying, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through.”

Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, “You brought pavement?!!!”

(Rev 21:22)

Oh how important that we get our priorities right!

God bless you,




We take English for granted. Sign We spik Inglish But if we  explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly,  boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
There is no egg in eggplant or ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in  pineapple…
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?
In what language do people recite at a play, and play at a recital?
Ship by truck, and send cargo by ship?
Have noses that run and feet that smell?
Sweetmeats are candies, while sweetbreads, which  aren’t sweet, are meat.
If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth beeth?
One goose, 2 geese. So, one moose, 2 meese?
When a house burns up, it burns  down.
When the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.
English muffins were not invented in England or French fries in France.
How can ‘slim chance and a fat chance’ be the same, while  ‘ wise man and a wise guy’ are opposites?

(The above is from an email I received. I have no idea who wrote it)

Sign "Slip Carefully"This may help explain some rather odd signs one sees around the world. (Pictures are scattered throughout this post.)

But it does not explain why some educated people simply can’t seem to read.

shcool On the Christian House Sitters website we try to explain everything very carefully and simply yet I still receive some very odd questions. For example only this week someone wrote “ I am interested in registering with you guys, but will there be a guarantee that we will find a place to stay in Oxford for free at the time we want it?

Yet on our web site says:

Can You Guarantee a House Sit?

Sadly not. The list of available properties is constantly changing. New houses are added and existing properties find sitters. We are facilitator and have no idea what houses or sitters are going to become available in the future. We never know from one day to the next what is coming and what is going to be removed. For example we had a message from someone asking about a house in Florida. We wrote back saying that we did not have any. The very next day we got a house 5 minutes from Disney World available for 2 months. God is in control. We trust that He will provide the right match between owners and sitters.”

Sadly we can’t foresee the future. We do not know who is going to plan a vacation next year and if they are going to list their house with our site. Even if they do we can’t predict which house sitter they will decide to use.

Sign Entrance Only. Do not enter

What can we promise? We can promise that when you register as a home owner it will not cost you anything. That we will make your house details known to our registered sitters and that you stand a very good chance of finding a suitable sitter
We can also promise that when you register as a sitter you will be kept fully informed about every new house listed. The vast majority of our sitters find not one but two or more house sits during their membership.

If you want more details please look at our website or contact me

God bless you,


20 Astonishing Holiday/ Vacation Complaints

At Christian House Sitters we are very pleased that we do not get many people complaining. In fact I can hardly remember the last time any of our members complained.

On the contrary most write to say how delighted they were with the service we offer.

But I was reading an article on 20 Astonishing Complaints received by tour operators. I immediatly contacted the publisher and they kindly gave me permission to reproduce it here.

The article appeared on http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/news/20-astonishing-holiday-complaints-thomas-cook-abta

complaining20 astonishing holiday complaints

5th September 2011

Presented  to you, for your entertainment and pleasure – 20 of the most outrageous, ridiculous and stupid travel complaints made to tour operators

A recent survey from Thomas Cook and ABTA reveals 20 of the most ridiculous complaints by holiday-makers made to their travel agent.

1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this  should be banned.”

3. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”

4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”

5. A tourist at a top African Game Lodge over looking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained  that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him
feel “inadequate”.

6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in
the room.

7. “The beach was too sandy.”

8. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure.Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”

9. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

10. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”

11. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”

12. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”

13. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”

14. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller..”

15. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying there?”

16. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”

17. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”

18. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

19. “I was bitten by a mosquito, no-one said they could bite.”

20. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

I am so pleased that members of Christian House Sitters do not have these problems. And they enjoy their vacation rent-free. To find out more visit our website or contact me.

God bless you,



Flying Fun or Funny Flying

I have an interest in travel and in vacations. After all that is what we provide for people through Christian House Sitters. Knowing this and that I was originally from South Africa a friend kindly sent me an article about Kulula Airlines. I had a good laugh then decided to check if it was true. According to Snopes it is actually true
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.


Kulula palneKulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:


On a flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”


On landing, the stewardess said, “Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”


From a Kulula employee: ” Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”


“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”


“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive.”


From the pilot during his welcome message: “Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”


Heard on a Kulula flight. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ’em, you can smoke ’em.”


You may not fly with Kulula for your next vacation but wherever and however you travel do remember that Christian House Sitters can help.

We operate worldwide providing rent-free vacations for our registered sitters and reliable people to look after the homes and pets of our registered owners.

We are not a business but a ministry and all the income goes to look after and feed children at a Christian Children’s Home in Kenya

You can read all about us on our website.
God bless you,




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