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Popeyesays
07-11-2006, 11:50 PM
My father-in-law sent it to me

Subject: Pronuncation of the ENGLISH Language

Can you read these right the first time?


1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?


Let's face it - English is a crazy language . There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. PS. - Why doesn't "Buick" rhyme with "quick"
---------------------------

Regards,
Scott

Puma
07-12-2006, 01:46 AM
I've seen the first part of that before - it does make you stop and think (and realize why English can be so confusing to non native speakers). Puma

sassandgroove
07-12-2006, 01:50 AM
I stumbled on #8.

dobiwon
07-12-2006, 10:43 PM
I enjoyed all of these. One could also ask why if we walk on walkways, do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?

Some other pronounciation inconsistencies:

They found a bomb and a comb near the tomb.
Come to my home.
Don't bother your mother.
Bees live in a hive.
The diver searched the river.
She headed north with her beaded necklace.
How did the bow in her hair fall out?


Not to mention a word like "cleave" which means both "to divide" and "to unite"

BardSkye
07-12-2006, 10:56 PM
Isn't English fun? The mongrel of the language world.

I've been told by many of my English-as-second-language pals that it's very hard to learn and I believe them.

Soccer Mom
07-13-2006, 07:20 AM
It's hard to explain it to a five year old when he's trying to read and sound out words.

reph
07-13-2006, 09:18 AM
English ... The mongrel of the language world.With a mixed heritage comes hybrid vigor.

TsukiRyoko
07-13-2006, 08:21 PM
Oh, I do believe this has made my day a good one, indeed.

dahmnait
07-15-2006, 05:45 AM
What do I get if I pronounced them all correctly? It is all about sentence structure. Of course, that doesn't make it any easier for someone learning the language.

aruna
07-25-2006, 04:38 PM
I've sen the swecond part before, not the first.

A lot of confusion about the pronounciation of -ough.
There's cough, though, plough, and I think a couple more.

poetinahat
07-25-2006, 05:11 PM
A lot of confusion about the pronounciation of -ough.
There's cough, though, plough, and I think a couple more.
through, rough, furlough, thought, brougham ...

any more, anyone?

P.H.Delarran
07-25-2006, 09:27 PM
Some of the participants want to contest the contest.

He cocked his bow and aimed his arrow at a bough.


to add to aruna and poet's list...trough, bough, tough..i'm sure there's several more of those.

don't forget hey, nay, aye, weigh, lei.

Jamesaritchie
07-25-2006, 09:36 PM
Yes. With the exceptions of number eight and number twelve, context or structure gives the correct pronunciation in each sentence. And even in these two the first reading should be the correct one. I'm not sure why anyone who is well-read would stumble over any of the words.

reph
07-25-2006, 11:38 PM
I'm not sure why anyone who is well-read would stumble over any of the words.Not among native speakers, sure, but these variations make English harder for foreigners to learn than phonetic languages.

smiley10000
07-26-2006, 07:43 AM
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

Is my pronunciation off? I do not see any difference between "row" and "row"

Hmmmm... You have to keep in mind that English has "borrowed" words from such a wide variety of languages and we (i.e. the native speakers) don't like change too much... Therefore we get wacky things in our writing system like silent 'p' (psychology), silent 'm' (mnemonic), silent "gh" (might), silent 'e' (fake), etc...

So let's standardize it! Of course, are you the one to start a language revolution?...I know I sure ain't...

:Shrug: 10000

reph
07-26-2006, 10:02 AM
There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

Is my pronunciation off? I do not see any difference between "row" and "row"There was a row (rhymes with "brown cow")...about how to row (rhymes with "go slow").

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2006, 12:40 PM
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

Is my pronunciation off? I do not see any difference between "row" and "row"



:Shrug: 10000

Haven't you ever had a "row" with someone? It's an angry dispute. Pronounced as in "growl."

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2006, 12:42 PM
Not among native speakers, sure, but these variations make English harder for foreigners to learn than phonetic languages.

Yes, I've seen people trying to learn English who soon came to believe our langauge is impossible.

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2006, 12:51 PM
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

Is my pronunciation off? I do not see any difference between "row" and "row"

Hmmmm... You have to keep in mind that English has "borrowed" words from such a wide variety of languages and we (i.e. the native speakers) don't like change too much... Therefore we get wacky things in our writing system like silent 'p' (psychology), silent 'm' (mnemonic), silent "gh" (might), silent 'e' (fake), etc...

So let's standardize it! Of course, are you the one to start a language revolution?...I know I sure ain't...

:Shrug: 10000

I'm only now learning the way it is. I'd hate to standardize it and have to start over.

smiley10000
07-26-2006, 11:02 PM
I know the word. I just thought they were pronounced the same way...

Hmmm... Anyone out there that doesn't think I'm ignorant? Is it a dialectal thing?

:cry: 10000

CaroGirl
07-26-2006, 11:20 PM
I know the word. I just thought they were pronounced the same way...

Hmmm... Anyone out there that doesn't think I'm ignorant? Is it a dialectal thing?
Um, I wish I could help you, but I've never heard "row" (as in a lively argument) pronounced to rhyme with "grow".

I'm from Canada, though. Does that help?

Jamesaritchie
07-26-2006, 11:44 PM
Um, I wish I could help you, but I've never heard "row" (as in a lively argument) pronounced to rhyme with "grow".

I'm from Canada, though. Does that help?

Nope, it isn't pronouned to rhyme with "grow." It's pronounced as the "row" in "growl," or as in "raw," depending on the source and where you live.

But never as in "grow."

smiley10000
07-26-2006, 11:52 PM
Um, I wish I could help you, but I've never heard "row" (as in a lively argument) pronounced to rhyme with "grow".

I'm from Canada, though. Does that help?

Only makes it worse... I grew up in Toronto :Headbang:

:sigh: It's ok... Maybe I have just never heard the word pronounced (only encoutered it in the written form...)

Boy do I feel dumb
:e2bummed:10000

reph
07-26-2006, 11:56 PM
I know the word. I just thought they were pronounced the same way...Which way? "Rou, rou, rou your boat" or "A roe broke out in the bar"?

Hmmm... Anyone out there that doesn't think I'm ignorant? Is it a dialectal thing?Dunno. Where do you live? Do your neighbors pronounce these words the same way? Sometimes misunderstandings of pronunciations occur because a person reads too much and doesn't circulate among people enough. In my childhood reading, I thought "etc." would sound like "ectic." I saw it in books, but nobody I knew used "et cetera" in speech.

CaroGirl
07-27-2006, 12:09 AM
To James: "Huh?"

To Smiley: Don't feel badly. I used to not know how to pronouce "misled" because I'd only seen it written. I thought it was MY-zeld instead of MISS-led. <hangs head in shame>

smiley10000
07-27-2006, 12:36 AM
To Smiley: Don't feel badly. I used to not know how to pronouce "misled" because I'd only seen it written. I thought it was MY-zeld instead of MISS-led. <hangs head in shame>

Thanks... Other peoples ignorance always makes me feel smarter :D


Sometimes misunderstandings of pronunciations occur because a person reads too much and doesn't circulate among people enough.

Should I be offended that you think I am a bookworm with no friends? ;)

:) 10000

reph
07-27-2006, 01:14 AM
Should I be offended that you think I am a bookworm with no friends?Nope. It's a compliment!

I used to not know how to pronouce "misled" because I'd only seen it written. I thought it was MY-zeld instead of MISS-led.It's mis-LED or MIS-LED (with two strong accents). That word trips up a lot of young readers who turn it into "missile'd" or "mild."

A slightly related mistake I made in early reading was to think "bereft" was a short form of "barefoot" and was used figuratively. I knew its meaning from context, and "ft" is "foot" abbreviated. If you can be denuded of dignity, then you can be barefoot of wealth. Honestly, that's how I thought the word was derived. Have I ever mizzled you before?

CaroGirl
07-27-2006, 02:26 AM
It's mis-LED or MIS-LED (with two strong accents).
Yeah, I struggled with how to best represent that both syllables have equal emphasis. Thanks for showing me.


A slightly related mistake I made in early reading was to think "bereft" was a short form of "barefoot" and was used figuratively. I knew its meaning from context, and "ft" is "foot" abbreviated. If you can be denuded of dignity, then you can be barefoot of wealth. Honestly, that's how I thought the word was derived. Have I ever mizzled you before?
LOL! Very cute. Aren't we all feeling brave today, exposing our pronunciation shortcomings? I hope you appreciate it, smiley!