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BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2

katlaughing 10 Sep 01 - 04:43 PM
O'Trasno 10 Sep 01 - 04:51 PM
Ralphie 10 Sep 01 - 05:44 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 01 - 06:12 PM
Willa 10 Sep 01 - 06:18 PM
katlaughing 10 Sep 01 - 07:53 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Sep 01 - 08:00 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 10 Sep 01 - 08:07 PM
paddymac 11 Sep 01 - 04:27 AM
Ringer 11 Sep 01 - 09:50 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 11 Sep 01 - 03:20 PM
lady penelope 11 Sep 01 - 03:22 PM
GUEST 19 Sep 01 - 03:43 PM
GUEST,Whut? 19 Sep 01 - 03:55 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 19 Sep 01 - 05:42 PM

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Subject: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 04:43 PM

The other one was over 100 posts and with one of the last postings by Tracey Dragonsfriend, I think it is worthy to continue.

Here is Tracey's posting...try reading it aloud!

How about this one : 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 different 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…


ENGLISH IS TOUGH STUFF
======================
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


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: O'Trasno
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 04:51 PM

oops,sorry kat---i'll just nudge you back up there....ah that's better!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Ralphie
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 05:44 PM

Is Constitute the opposite of Prostitute?
Just a Thought
Ralphie


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 06:12 PM

I got to re-reading older posts and added to the long string. O'Trasno, I put a comment for you there. Kat, in your area I'm sure that you have encountered a hoarse horse.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Willa
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 06:18 PM

How about examples such as 'Do you know that that that that you used should be a which?'?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: katlaughing
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 07:53 PM

Or it is a witch? Haha! Keep 'em coming, phoaks, these are great!

Dicho, a horse is a hoarse horse, of course, especially if he's the talking Mr. Ed, unless of he's a coarse horse named Horace!

O'Trasno, no problem. Thanks!

kat


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 08:00 PM

Don Firth mentioned Shelley Berman in the previous thread. Here are some more of his bits that I remember:

One Kleenex, two Kleenices. One sheriff, two sheriphim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 08:07 PM

Willa, that 50 words for snow in Inuit is an exaggeration, but I think you will find that fishermen will know many kinds of fish while I will call most of them fish. We use adjectives to describe different kinds of snow- neve (damn, I can put accents in Word, but not in Mudcat), powdery, granular, etc. etc. A snow specialist will easily have as many descriptive phrases and words as the Inuit. We don't need to know them in our pursuits. Spaniards don't seem to have the class distinction on accents; they just recognize the region that the speaker comes from. As far as I know, it is only the English teacher of Spanish who insists that Castillian is the true Spanish (but that is changing). Living in Spain, O'Trasno, you are better able to answer that than me (than I (can)).


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: paddymac
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 04:27 AM

No wonder the author od the opening post above is anonymous. If his or her identity was know the students would probably have lynched him/her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Ringer
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:50 AM

Splendid poem, Tracey (and thanks to kat for the split). Not wishing to cavil, but what the folk is Foeffer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 03:20 PM

Foeffer- must be short for hasenpfeffer (sp.?). Don't feel much like doing anything today, but I just wanted to say that my wife once made a tape of me in conversation. It was painful to listen to. I think most of us are much better on paper than we are off the cuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: lady penelope
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 03:22 PM

Bleedin' obscure,that's what!

Every one goes on about english being really hard 'cos of all the above type nonsense, but no one says anything about south east asian languages which depend on your tone of voice for different meanings for the same word!!!

Any way the above poem only works if you say it using a standard or "recieved" english accent ( I never understood that phrase, why is it recieved, who do you get it from? ). Say it in one of many regional accents and it becomes nonsense!!

TTFN M'Lady P.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 03:43 PM

Here's a little piece that cracked me up: How to Write Good English


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: GUEST,Whut?
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 03:55 PM

I cain't unnerstand why you'ins say that English is so gosh darn hard. Everbuddy in my trayler park learned to speek it dang good by the tyme we droped outta fif grayde.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reasons why English is so hard - Part 2
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 05:42 PM

Lady Penelope, PLEEZE! Receive, not recieve- or am I dense and that was duh-liberate? I have a Navajo Dictionary and Grammar- 1069 pp. of very fine print and Quarto plus size. They have tones also. Did you know the Navajo word for xiphoid is 'ayiditsee'? No? Your education must be limited. Seriously, no wonder the Japanese never were able to understand the Navajo Code-talkers during WWII.


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Mudcat time: 18 October 4:54 AM EDT

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