Thursday, August 19, 2010

How do you pronounce English words? And NO, the answer is not. . .

ngglsh wɜːdz! English is a tough language - or so I've heard - I can't comment on that as I have been speaking it since I was a child. I progressed rather rapidly through the "WAAAAAHHH!!!" stage to better words including above all: "Feed me!" I got better and faster results that way. Up to that point I had wondered why on earth people would change my diaper when all I wanted to do was eat! I kept saying (so I thought) "The OTHER end, you dopes!" Live and learn.

Recently, a blogger friend of "My Literary Quest" fame (see link on right of this page) published a portion of a poem I remember reading when I was in grade school or thereabouts. Here is the link to that wonderful post. Read and enjoy!

So! Get the idea? (Try reading that poem aloud! - and I still have an argument going over whether query and inquiry rhyme. I say NO, and most others say YES! I think I'm right! My blog, my prerogative.) It must be a mind-boggling task to learn such variety and to know when certain rules apply and when they don't. I'm still getting some of those rules straight - particularly when it comes to the ones I have forgotten over the years. It's one of the reasons why I always have a hard-bound copy of a dictionary close at hand, or go to one of the various free dictionary sites online. As a comment on the above post, I posed a quiz. Many of you have seen it before, but if not, can you guess the pronunciation of the following common English words?

GHOTI? OK, that's an easy one (perhaps.) How about GHOUGHPTEIGHBTEAU?

Use all the pronunciation rules you can think of and figure them out. Anybody who doesn't, can comment and I'll send the answers - or maybe I won't! I may someday post them on my blog - you'll just have to read it occasionally to find out!

Until then I close with my hope for you all - that your education has been adequate and that you use good English enough. . .

OK, OK, I'll give you a hint to one of them:


  1. Is it pronounced "fish"?

    Wow, English IS hard.

  2. YAY!! You got the hint - on the first one, anyway - now go for the other!

  3. I know the first one's fish, but I can't even begin to guess the second! Oh my goodness!
    (P.S. Heard of the band Ghoti Hook? I liked them a lot in high school, haha. :-) )

  4. For a hint on that one - think about something McDonald's cooks millions and millions of pounds of every year!