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Our Strange Lingo

by Lord Cromer
published in The Spectator, Aug 9, 1902

When the English tongue we speak
Why is break not rhymed with freak?
Will you tell me why it's true
We say sew but likewise few?
And the maker of a verse
Cannot cap his horse with worse?
Beard sounds not the same as heard --
Cord is different from word.
Cow is cow, but low is low --
Shoe is never rhymed with foe.
Think of hose and dose and lose,
and of goose -- and yet of choose.
Think of comb and tomb and bomb.
Doll and roll, and home and some.
and since pay is rhymed with say,
Why not paid with said, I pray?
We have blood and food and good --
Mould is not pronounceed like could.
Wherefore done, but gone and lone --
Is there any reason known?
And, in short, it seems to me
Sounds and letters disagree!

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