A Strange Language

by Richard Kolkovich

While scanning and shredding all manner of paper record I have accumulated over the years, I stumbled across a poem given to me by an English teacher in middle or high school. There is no author on the print I have, and I could not find the poem online anywhere. To preserve its humor for eternity, here it is:

A lawless language is English;
The plural of box is boxes,
But more than one ox is not oxes.
One fowl’s a goose, more are two geese,
But more than one mouse is certainly not meece.
On the contrary for mouse, the plural is mice,
While the plural for house is never hice!
If more than one man is always men,
The plural of pan should then be pen?
One may be that, and two may be those,
But the plural of hat is surely not hose!
Masculine pronouns are he, his and him.
Imagine the feminines she, shis and shim!
The English language, I think you’ll agree,
Is as strange a language as ever could be.

If anyone happens to know the proper author of this, please let me know. Otherwise, enjoy what I feel is an accurate and humorous critique of the English language.

EDIT: A reader named Lydia has provided the following:

The Lawless Language poem was supposedly written by “a young student at Starche Boys’ School in Nairobi, Kenya. this according to The Stanstead Journal, Sept 7, 1978.

Armed with this knowledge, I found the original.