English as a first language

I've always been fascinated and entertained by the way English is used and abused. These examples have been collected from various sources over the years.

Actual wine descriptions copied verbatim from the bottles

"Ripe plum fruit with lashings of chocolate, coffee, leather and cherries with a big round palate of jammy fruit."

"Upfront characters of stewed plums and fruitcake."

"Showing clean, mouth-watering fruit and balanced oak tannins with pineapple and lemon meringue aromas."

"A gregarious drop. The nose is friendly with aromas of mulberries, fruit pastilles, a touch of spicy prosciutto and oak. The soft, dry and savoury palate offers rich flavours of berry fruit and rhubarb."

"A bold and classic semillon offering aromas of lemon zest, spicy lemongrass, aromatic green herbs and a touch of oak. The palate is intensely rich with flavours of savoury pineapple, soft lime and a touch of cut grass."

And a beer (Carlsberg): "It charges into the glass with a nose assault of flowering vegetables, then crowds the palate with parsnip, sweet potato and pumpkin flavours leading to a slightly sticky caramel finish."

Heard on UK radio

Interviewer: "In a sense, Deng Xiaoping's death was inevitable, wasn't it?" 
Expert guest: "Yes."

Guest: "My most embarrassing moment was when my artificial leg fell off at the altar on my wedding day."
Host: "How awful! Do you still have an artificial leg?"

Presenter: "So what would happen if you mated a woolly mammoth with, say, an elephant?"
Expert: "Well in the same way that a horse and a donkey produce a mule, we'd get a sort of half-mammoth."
Presenter: "So it would be like some sort of hairy gorilla?"
Expert: "Er, yes - but more elephant-shaped, and with tusks."


There are no words in the English language to rhyme with silver, purple or orange.

Here are the eight pronounciations of "-ough ":
A dough-faced ploughman in a rough coat walked thoughtfully through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing.