Sunday, June 24, 2007

Why is English becoming universal?

Take the 'gh' from 'cough'
add the 'o' from 'women'
add the 't' from 'nation'
add the silent 'ugh' from 'dough'
and you get GHOTUGH
reading FISH!

If you want to know why I love OTHER languages so much, this is one reason...

Recovering Sounds from Orthography
Brush up Your English

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough.
Others my stumble but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, bough and through.
Well done! An now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps.

Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead -- it's said like bed, not bead.
For goodness' sake, don't call it deed!
Watch out for meat and great and threat:
They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.

A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there's dose and rose and lose-
Just look them up -- and goose and choose,
and cork and work and card and ward,
and font and front and word and sword,
and do and go and thwart and cart.
Come, come, I've hardly made a start.

A dreadful language? Man alive,
I'd mastered it when I was five!

(T.S. Watt (1954) in The Guardian. Cited with permission in Taylor, Insup and M. Martin Taylor. 1983. The Psychology of Reading. New York: Academic Press. p. 99)

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