I do not know much about the world’s languages as I am not a linguist. Neither have I studied other languages except English. I appreciate the English Language. The richness and beautiful structure, the idioms, metaphors and etc. While I appreciate it, I am also confounded by it. It’s very intriguing. There are a number of rules and there are a number of exceptions.
Have you ever wondered why some words are formed even though there is no relationship or connection to the object?
A very good example is the word, “butterfly”. Why is this insect called “butterfly” as it has nothing to do with butter nor the pesky fly that feeds on butter? Strange, isn’t it? But it is a beautiful insect, don’t you agree?
Another is the word “bat”. Look at this sentence, ” He let bat fly out of his hand?” Which bat is it referring to: The “bat” that is used in softball, cricket,etc or the “bat” that is a nocturnal fruit-eating mammal? Surely, we do not run our of words to differentiate them by giving them a different name!
Then as society changes new words and phrases emerge.
We have :
1. Champion – 1st Runner-up, 2nd Runner-up instead of First – Second – Third. Then, why can’t we call the last but one as 2nd last?
2. We say “I’m strong will, you’re stubborn but he is pig-headed”. Don’t they mean the same thing?
3. Then we have a classic example , A lady told a gentleman, “You smell, sir.” The gentleman replied as politely as he could, “Dear lady, it’s because you stink!”
4. Nowadays the word “technician” is very commonly used in jobs. It’s just a “repair man”.
5. A teacher is an “education officer”. So, a service provider provides all kinds of services. So in a sense the oldest profession is also a service provider!
6. Green is a very common word nowadays. Everything is going green in my country. Even my eyes are going green when I saw my neighbour driving a Rolls Royce!
I’m certain you can find more examples. Indeed English is a beautiful language; it is also very confusing and intriguing at times. Master it. It’s not that elusive!