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Presently viewing...   English is tough stuff.
Audience: General    Humor Rating: 1 1 1    Category: Political    Type: Stories
CLICK TO E-MAIL 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.

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,

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; clamor and enamor 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 clangor. 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. Feiffer
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, mustache,
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 succor, 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 spiky?
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,or dough,
or cough? My advice is to give up!!!

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