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Something light: FW: "English is Tough Stuff"

From:alypius <krazyal@...>
Date:Thursday, November 4, 1999, 22:32
>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, 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 >