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Part VII. Odd Words, Puzzles and Games > Chapter 39. Let's Have Fun! - Pg. 99

99 Chapter 39. Let's Have Fun! Vocabulary study should be fun. You can think of the English language either as a gallery of linguistic horrors or as a playground for the curious mind. If you enjoy the antics of semantics, this section provides a variety of odd words, puzzles, and games to increase your enthusiasm. The following poem by Richard Lederer, from his book Crazy English, is a good example of the curiosity of our language. He shows how verb tenses can make us tense. 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 once I did, Then do cows moo, as they once mid? ... About these verbs I sit and think. These verbs don't fit. They seem to wink At me, who sat for years and thought Of verbs that never fat or wought.