Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >
Topic Options
#1583 - 05/08/00 09:12 AM Re: Schoolwork
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Excellent - this is very similar to the list I had seen.

#1584 - 05/08/00 12:09 PM Re: Schoolwork
tututu Offline

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 23
Loc: Bellingham, WA USA
We'll use this one then and try to add to it. Thanks for your offer to search. This will work well.


#1585 - 05/08/00 04:04 PM Re: Schoolwork
sholmes Offline

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 6
I couldn't resist posting this. It is long. Sorry. I have hung on to this for several years and it still amazes some when they see it for the first time. You must read it aloud and I suspect you must use american pronunciation (:-).


Multi-national personnel at North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters near Paris found English to be an easy language ...
until they tried to pronounce it. To help them discard an array of accents, the verses below were devised. After trying them, a Frenchman said he'd prefer six months at hard labor to reading six lines aloud. Try them yourself.


Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.

Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.

Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.

Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.

Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.

Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.

Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk,
Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.

Pronunciation -- think of Psyche!
Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Finally, which rhymes with enough --
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

-- Author Unknown

#1586 - 05/08/00 07:12 PM Re: Schoolwork
Philip Davis Offline

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 81
From the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.
Given the pronunciation of enough, women and nation what is a ghoti.
{clue; it swims}

#1587 - 05/09/00 02:50 AM Re: Schoolwork
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I'll pass it round - I always thought English was hard.
I assume the pronunciation of victual is like vit-tle (its only a word I ever heard in "The Beverly Hill Billies - from my youth, I always wanted to be Ellie May(now that's an admission!))

#1588 - 05/09/00 03:28 AM Re: Schoolwork
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Along the same lines -

Does any one know the Two Ronnies sketch (not sure if it crossed the Altantic or Pacific) where the man goes into the hardware shop and askes for certian things - each time a few things are presented before the get the right one.

For example he asks for "hose" and gets offered "panty hose" or a hosepipe - someone is bound to remember the rest!

#1589 - 05/09/00 07:22 AM Re: ghoti
AnnaStrophic Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 6511
Loc: lower upstate New York
Refresh my memory : Wasn't it G.B. Shaw who came up with this alternate spelling?

#1590 - 05/09/00 07:39 AM Re: ghoti
paulb Offline

Registered: 03/17/00
Posts: 460
Loc: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I think you're right, Anna. I also have a faint memory of the letters 'potato' being used to form the same word as the letters 'ghoti' do.

#1591 - 05/09/00 08:13 AM Re: Schoolwork
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
To all: I was fascinated, when I clicked on gurunet, to
find the following when I clicked on a related site--

Ghoti Hook : Behind The Music
Ghoti Hook formed in November, 1991. Joel Bell, Adam Neubauer and former member, Justin Levy, started the band. The boys grew up in the same church and discovered a passion for starting a band in 1989. Christian Ergueta, Dan Feliciano and Conrad Tolosa were other friends in the church who became part of the original line-up. The band contained three guitar players (Conrad, Dan and Justin), a bass player (Christian), drummer (Adam) and a vocalist (Joel). They chose the name Ghoti Hook from a suggestion by Adam's dad ("ghoti" is the phonetic spelling of the word "fish" and is pronounced "go-dee").

#1592 - 05/09/00 08:27 AM Re: Schoolwork
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Steve--that was wonderful! I laughed out loud. I started
to print it out, then realized there's nobody I know
face-to-face who is as interested in words as I am, though
they are tolerant of my rapturous ravings. Hooray for this
bulletin board! Thanks a bunch for the effort you put in.

Page 2 of 3 < 1 2 3 >

Moderator:  Jackie 
Forum Stats
8968 Members
16 Forums
13870 Topics
222532 Posts

Max Online: 3341 @ 12/09/11 02:15 PM
Newest Members
Tatanka17, Marci, dorrick, thedesertsimmom, LostAuthor
8968 Registered Users
Who's Online
0 registered (), 30 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters (30 Days)
wofahulicodoc 57
LukeJavan8 41
may2point0 37
delirium 4
DavidLaurence 1
Curtis 1
A C Bowden 1
Top Posters
wwh 13858
Faldage 13803
Jackie 11613
tsuwm 10538
LukeJavan8 8541
Buffalo Shrdlu 7210
wofahulicodoc 6943
AnnaStrophic 6511
Wordwind 6296
of troy 5400

Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2016 Wordsmith